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JO making a joke out of NCM: Ravi

A group of UNP backbenchers yesterday criticised the Joint Opposition (JO) for making a joke out of the ‘No-Confidence Motion’(NCM) and alleged that the so-called Opposition in Parliament was merely using such measures to disrupt the work of government.

Former Foreign Minister and UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake addressing a media briefing at the Government Information Department said the ruling coalition is certain of defeating the recent motion of no-confidence submitted against Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne with a two thirds majority.

“It will be a historic occasion and we will show them that we have all the confidence in Rajitha who helped bring about this regime change,” Karunanayake said.

The JO submitted the motion to the Speaker on Thursday with 39 signatures in favour.

Colombo District MP Mujibur Rahuman pointed out that not even the real leader of the JO, MP Mahinda Rajapaksa had signed any of the motions and that the passing of the Local Authorities Elections (Amendment) Bill on Friday with 122 in favour and 44 abstaining, showed that the numbers were very much on their side.

He added that the JO through their antics was trying to disrupt Parliamentary proceedings and hinder democratic governance.

Galle District MP Bandulal Bandarigoda in the meantime quipped that the multiple motions of no-confidence put forward by the JO was a ploy to signal to the world that the government was in chaos,

“They are trying to discourage foreign investors coming into the country,”he said.

Bandarigoda added that MP Dinesh Gunawardena’s request to allow public servants to contest in elections during the recent debate on the Local Authorities Elections (Amendment) Bill was a farce and that it challenged the independence of the public service,

“If public servants were allowed to contest, they would use their position to gain votes. That is not democratic. A public official cannot be political”, pointed out Bandarigoda.

Puttlam District MP Hector Appuhamy said the JO were wasting public funds through the frequent suspension of Parliamentary sessions and No-Confidence Motions, “They wasted and stole public money when in government and now they are doing the same in opposition,”he said.

Prof.Ashu Marasinghe commenting on Minister Senaratne’s No-Confidence Motion observed that it had nothing to do with the latter’s ministry or current activities and it was simply a tactic employed to stop Minister Senaratne from speaking out against the allegedly corrupt MPs of the JO. UNP MP Ananda Aluthgamage agreeing with Marasinghe added that the JO members need to be ‘clean’ before they pointed fingers at others. UNP MPs J.C. Alawathugoda, Shantha Abeysekara, Sydney Jayarathna, Vijayakala Maheswaran and Lucky Jayawardena also participated at the media briefing.