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SLFP-UNP TO SIGN NEW MoU

The SLFP and the UNP will sign a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to work together in the Government following the ongoing talks, SLFP General Secretary and Minister Duminda Dissanayake said.

Speaking to the Daily News yesterday, he said the two ministerial groups presently engaged in discussions would come up with a common programme for the two parties to govern together for the remainder of 18 months.

The new programme will get off the ground with a ceremonial sitting in Parliament on May 8.

“It will be a comprehensive and strong programme acceptable and beneficial to the country.

The details are now being worked out and the SLFP has appointed a five-member committee headed by Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama for the purpose. Once finalised the two parties will endorse it as an MoU,” he said.

He also said the ministry subjects would be revised in a rationale manner during the upcoming Cabinet reshuffle.

In the meantime, Speaker’s Media Secretary Chaminda Gamage confirmed that the second session of eighth Parliament on May 8 would be a ceremonial sitting. President Maithripala Sirisena is expected to commence the session with a special statement.

Deputy Secretary General and Chief of Staff of Parliament Neil Iddawala said the Constitutional Assembly and Steering Committee appointed to deliberate on Constitutional reforms are not affected by the prorogation of Parliament as they were set up by Parliamentary resolutions.

“All the other Parliament Committees except for Sectoral Oversight Committees and the High Post Committee stand dissolved following the prorogation. Members and chairmen to them must be re-appointed. This applies to the COPE and COPA as well.

All the private member motions, private member bills and questions for oral answers have to be re-presented. Propagation will not affect the other Bills presented by the Government and those will continue to the next session.

Parliamentary seats of MPs will also change as 15 SLFP ministers, deputy and state ministers have resigned from their posts,” he said.

Asked whether a new Deputy Speaker will be appointed on May 8, Iddawala said Parliament is yet to officially receive the resignation letter of Deputy Speaker Thilanga Sumathipala.