No faith motions only under House norms - Jeyaraj
The Government yesterday said it was ready to face any No-Confidence
Motion against its Members, but emphasised that such a motion must be
taken up only in accordance with Parliamentary traditions.
Addressing the weekly situation briefing, Chief Government Whip
Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle said they had no reason to oppose the
no-faith motion proposed by Parliamentarian Sripathi Sooriyarachchi
against Tourism Minister Milinda Moragoda.
“However, we will not agree to debate it on October 23 as suggested,
since a motion should ordinarily be placed in the Order Paper of
Parliament at least for seven days and taken up at the party leaders’
meeting prior to debate.
A no-faith motion against the Speaker is the only exception to this
tradition,” he said.
The Minister also pointed out that three similar motions against
Ministers Keheliya Rambukwella, Mervyn Silva and MP Mahinda Ratnatilleke
were still pending before the House, thus preventing the immediate
consideration of the one against Minister Moragoda.
He said the motion which has been proposed at the instigation of
United National Party (UNP) Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, has now
backfired on the Opposition Leader since many UNP stalwarts including
Colombo district MP Mohammed Mahroof have already stated it will not
receive their support.
“In addition, Mahroof has charged MP Mangala Samaraweera of accepting
a bribe of Rs 12 million for providing a land. This allegation has not
been contradicted by Samaraweera so far.
Therefore, we have decided to request for a Parliamentary select
Committee to probe the transaction in question”.
Commenting on the charges levelled by the UNP against Minister
Moragoda, Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardane said that the
Opposition Leader in a recent speech in Parliament has admitted
collective responsibility of the Cabinet for the privatisation of State
institutions during his government.
“The privatisation of the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation and Lanka
Marine Services was recommended by a Cabinet Sub Committee presided over
by Ranil Wickremesinghe himself.
Therefore, Minister Moragoda need not accept individual
responsibility for these actions,” he added.