With just five days to go for the debate on the no-confidence motion brought by the Joint Opposition (JO) against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, elements from both the SLFP and the UNP are vying with each other making claims on the position that the SLFP would take on the matter.
Although President Sirisena has snubbed Wickremesinghe, relieving him of ministerial supervision of the Central Bank disregarding his protests, UNP MP Kavinda Jayawardena has insisted that ‘sources say the President is backing the Prime Minister.’
Meanwhile State Minister Dilan Perera (SLFP) has opined that ‘the only option to protect the Yahapalana Government and prevent the removal of the Prime Minister through the no-confidence motion was for him to step down before April 4th.’
However fellow SLFP parliamentarian Hirunika Premachandra has backed the position taken by Jayawardana, saying that the SLFP’s General Secretary Duminda Dissanayake had confirmed that the party would back the Prime Minister. She claims that Dissanayake was essentially expressing the opinion of the party leader, President Sirisena.
Jayawardana however acknowledged that the truth of reports cannot be verified, but insisted that ‘even if all SLFPers leave the President tomorrow (the UNP) will not leave him’ because ‘he is one of ours.’
Dilan Perera’s argument is that ‘legal and political remedia measures on the bond scam have begun,’ because ‘nothing was done to bring to book the perpetrators or to recover the damages.’ He said that ‘the constituent partners of good governance like the TNA, the SLMC, the ACMC, the National Union of Workers and the Democratic People’s Front must vote for the motion if they want to save the government.’