Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has informed the party leaders today that there is no change in his decision to recognize Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Opposition Leader and Mahinda Amaraweera as the Chief Opposition Whip.
The issue of Rajapaksa’s appointment as Opposition Leader ran high at the party leaders meeting convened by Jayasuriya earlier today with the Tamil National Alliance and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress again questioning Rajapaksa’s eligibility to continue as an MP.
The two parties argued that the Speaker should not recognize Rajapaksa as the Opposition Leader as the latter no longer represents the party for which he has been elected.
They reiterated that making a decision on Rajapaksa’s post as the Leader of the Opposition was well within the Speaker’s rights.
Responding to their demands, Jayasuriya stated that he would recognize Rajapaksa as the Leader of the Opposition. He announced the same decision in Parliament last month when Rajapaksa’s appointment was challenged by several political parties and senior Parliamentarians.
Jayasuriya also stated anyone who had an issue with Rajapaksa’s appointment as the Opposition Leader could take the matter to the judiciary. No party has officially announced thus far any decision to challenge Rajapaksa’s appointment in the courts.