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Government Gazette

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.

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