Sri Lanka’s UNP and NPP vote against Energy Minister against better judgment
ECONOMYNEXT – The United National Party (UNP) and the National People’s Power (NPP) will vote in favor of a no-confidence motion against Sri Lankan Energy Minister Udaya Gammanipla on Tuesday (20), MPs said, although ‘neither party thinks this decision is politically sound.
Former prime minister, UNP leader and the party’s sole representative, Ranil Wickremesinghe, told parliament on Tuesday that he would vote in favor of the motion, although he believes the opposition should vote instead. against all cabinet ministers.
Main opposition MP Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) SM Marikkar filed the censure motion against Gammanipla on Monday (19) on the latter’s role in the recent and highly controversial fuel price hike.
An amendment proposed by Wickremesinghe that the motion includes the entire cabinet was rejected by President Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena on Tuesday morning.
Related: Faithless Motion: Former Sri Lankan Prime Minister Proposes Amendment To Include Whole Cabinet
“The Minister of Energy has been one of the parties responsible for the increase in the price of fuel. But it is in fact the Minister of Finance who raises the price, in any government. As far as I know, this has not changed. The Minister of Finance is therefore also responsible.
“Correct me if I’m wrong, but the cost of living committee has also discussed this issue – which means that ministers on this committee must also be included,” Wickremesinghe said.
Signed by 43 SJB MPs, including opposition leader Sajith Premadasa, the motion quotes an official statement by Sri Lankan Secretary General Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) MP Sagara Kariyawasam blaming the price hike on Gammanipla. The energy minister, however, maintains that the price hike was a collective decision made by the prices committee, a sentiment that has since been echoed by the government.
“The new finance minister must also be included since the price has not been lowered as promised,” Wickremesinghe said, referring to statements made by a number of government backbenchers who claimed that the new Minister of Finance, Basil Rajapaksa, would not have allowed an increase in the price of fuel.
“This motion was clearly presented following a statement attributed to MP Sagara Kariyawasam. He has since withdrawn that statement. He is no longer in this position, “he added.
Wickremesinghe said the no-confidence motion brought government MPs together.
“Now all the ministers have come together. The government is collectively ready to show its strength, ”he said.
Speaking to EconomyNext from parliament, NPP MP Dr Harini Amarasuriya said that while the coalition led by Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) will vote in favor of the motion over a number of concerns regarding the Minister of Energy party thinks the move has given more and more disillusioned government members a rallying cry.
“We’re not very happy with the motion, as we don’t think it was very useful or strategic politically at this point. It’s kind of playing the gallery. We vote for it because we have a problem with what is happening with the increase in the price of fuel and the fact that the government has at no time given the benefit of the global reduction in oil prices to the consumer. », Says Amarasuriya.
The MP said what had happened to the mysterious fuel stabilization fund was also a major concern.
Related: Sri Lankan Minister Warns Of Financial Terror, Mystery Deepens Over Fuel Stabilization Fund
“We have a lot of questions and concerns. This is why we vote for, but we do not think that this motion of censure is very strategic at this stage because it gave the opportunity to the members of the government who showed a certain dissatisfaction with the government to rally ” , she said. mentionned. (Colombo / Jul20 / 2021)