Ten Opposition MPs to Support 20th Amendment
By W.K. Prasad Manju
Ten Opposition Parliamentarians have expressed willingness to support the proposed draft of the 20th Amendment to the Constitution, a top Cabinet Minister said.
The group had affirmed that they were ready to back the Government in two ways, the Minister added.
He averred that some of the Opposition MPs would cross over to Government ranks when the vote will be taken.
The Minister noted that a sizeable lot from the Opposition would still continue to back the Government with regard to democratic and progressive Bills that are tabled, while remaining in the Opposition benches in Parliament.
He remarked that talks which are presently proceeding with Opposition MPs in this connection have been positive.
He pointed out that in order to carry out expeditious development work in the country, the support of the Opposition would be most welcome and insisted that a sizeable number of MPs from the Opposition had already expressed their willingness towards this.
Meanwhile, Minister of Agriculture Mahindananda Aluthgamage revealed in Parliament on 10 September that some 10 to 15 MPs from the Opposition were ready to support the draft 20th Amendment mooted by the Government.
In the meantime, some of the Opposition MPs had not taken part in some of the recent anti-Government protests organised by the main Opposition SJB, and this has now become a heated topic of discussion in local political circles. It is claimed that some of the MPs belonging to smaller parties in the SJB coalition had not attended these anti-Government protests.
These anti-Government protests had been held against the 20th Amendment, opposite the statue of the late monk Ven. Maduluwave Sobitha Thera. The sporting of black shawls (satakayas) within Parliament too took place recently.
Political analysts had further opined that the internal tension in the SJB had been underscored with All Ceylon Makkal Congress MP S.M. Musharaf speaking in favour of the conduct of the present regime when the House had convened on 10 September.