MP Ashu Marasinghe

Foreign tours of all Government Ministers and MPs have been cancelled from April 2 to 6 in view of the No-Confidence Motion (NCM) against the Prime Minister.

 Speaking to the media at the Sirikotha UNP Head Office, UNP MP Ashu Marasinghe said all Government MPs currently overseas have been asked to cut short their visits and return to the country by April 1.

“The NCM is not only targeting Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, but also the Government. We will definitely defeat it and turn it around as a confidence motion on the Government. The Joint Opposition at the Party Leader’s Meeting wanted to delay the NCM and asked that it be taken up only after the Sinhala and Tamil New Year. The Government decided to give priority to it,” Prof. Marasinghe said.

He said no member in the Government ranks has the moral right to support the NCM, adding that those who signed the motion must resign from their portfolios before April 4. “After the NCM, we will start a new journey with new vigour. Those who dragged the Government from its feet have no place in it,” the MP said.

He said a decision on extending the Memorandum of Understanding between the UNP and SLFP would be taken after the NCM on April 4. “We hope that many SLFP members will continue to work with the UNP” he added.

He also said the UNP Working Committee is scheduled to meet on Thursday to decide on party reforms, adding that those changes could be expected before the Sinhala and Tamil New Year. The MP was confident of defeating the NCM even if the SLFP decides to vote in favour. “We have contingency plans. It is a good opportunity to expose and expel the Government members with double-standards.We can clean-up the Government and go ahead,” he said.

UNP backbenchers Wijayapala Hettiarachchi and Prof.Ashu Marasinghe were of the view that the JO’s NCM against the Prime Minister and Government invariably applies to the President as well because he is the Head of Government as per the Constitution.

Quoting the Constitution, they pointed out the President is a member of the Cabinet of Ministers and the Head of the Cabinet of Ministers. “This is a conspiracy and it will not end by removing PM Wickremesinghe.The next target would be the Speaker and the President,” they said. 

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