• UNF and TNA fear grows as Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksa is being appointed as the Opposition Leader.

    Today, there is a large cry in Parliament by MPs from the UNF Alliance and their partners in disguise, the TNA, against my father Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksa being appointed the Opposition Leader.

    This was expected. After all there has been a fear set within the UNF and TNA that their frauds will soon be exposed if a strong opposition is established in Parliament under the leadership of Hon. Rajapaksa.

    Within these past few days, it is sad to note that the most severe issues facing our citizens have been ignored. Instead the debates in Parliament revolve around why my father should not be made the Leader of the Opposition and how the TNA should retain this position. Any one with a common sense will realize that if the TNA has pledged their support to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, then how can they also be made the main opposition? This, as I have repeatedly mentioned, will be a blow to Sri Lankan politics and will set a dangerous environment where the government and TNA will have a free hand to mismanage the country and commit large scale frauds.

    We have already seen how the Central Bank Bond Scam progressed so smoothly under the nose of Hon. Wickremesinghe. Need I say, it was the TNA who was in the main opposition back then. Today, three years since this robbery which costed the country billions of rupees, we are yet to see any substantial investigation whilst its main mastermind, Arjuna Mahendran is enjoying his life overseas despite a warrant issued on him.

    Today, I would like to clearly drive away any doubts or misconceptions in the minds of our citizens. There are questions being raised on whether Hon. Rajapaksa has ceased to be a member of the UPFA and whether he has joined the SLPP. The answer is that he still very much is an honorable member of the SLFP, a party which is the largest party under the UPFA Alliance.

    Hon. Rajapaksa forwarded his candidature for the General election held on 7/8/2015 from the Kurunegala District through the UPFA. It is evident from the Gazette notification issued by the Commissioner of Elections that he was appointed to Parliament representing the UPFA, polling the highest number of preferential votes. The UPFA is made out of several political parties. The SLFP is the main member in this Alliance. To date Hon. Rajapaksa was not removed or resigned as a member of the SLFP. Even as of now, he is the Patron of the SLFP.

    Moreover, it has not been reported as of yet, that Hon. Rajapaksa has been expelled, resigned or for any other reason ceased to be a Member of the SLFP and hence a member of the UPFA.

    Moreover, it has not been informed in writing by the Secretary of the UPFA as of yet, that Hon. Rajapaksa has been removed from the membership of either the SLFP or the UPFA, to either Hon. Rajapaksa himself or the Secretary General of Parliament. As such, the seat of the Hon. Rajapaksa has not become vacant as per Article 99(13)(a) of the Constitution.

    Moreover, according to Article 99(13)(a) of the Constitution, this also applies to other MPs from the UPFA. Therefore, none of the seats of MPs have fallen vacant and they still represent the UPFA.

    Further, to spread unnecessary instability, the TNA and UNF have asked for the establishment of a Select Committee to probe Hon. Rajapaksa and other MPs future in the UPFA and in Parliament.

    First of all, while being in government, these MPs seem to be only bothered on the internal party matters of the UPFA. In fact they have always worked towards bringing discredit to Hon. Rajapaksa which is why they severely failed this country within these past three and a half years.

    But to clarify, select committees cannot be appointed to probe on matters relating to the office of Members of Parliament or the Office of Opposition Leader.

    The office of the Leader of the Opposition is not an office recognized by the

    Constitution and is merely an office established by the traditions of Parliament. In this regards, it is the duty of the Speaker to follow the traditions related to the same. As such, the announcement by the Hon. Speaker on 18/12/2018 at the commencement of Parliamentary sessions that Hon. Rajapaksa was appointed as the Leader of the Opposition is in conformity to the above mentioned precedents and Parliamentary traditions, and there are no

    provisions in the Standing Orders for the appointment of a Select Committee to examine the validity of such an appointment and it is contrary to Parliamentary traditions.

    Moreover, the letter by the Hon. Secretary of the UPFA, as the single largest party in the opposition, intimating its unanimous decision to nominate Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksa to the office of the Leader of the Opposition is in itself sufficient for such appointment and it further established that Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksa represents the UPFA even now.

    In the coming months, under the UNF government many such baseless allegations will be raised by the ruling MPs to create misconceptions and doubts. However our citizens can never be cheated or misled.

    Hon. Rajapaksa has always respected and trusted the people of Sri Lanka. Which is why even now, amidst this political crisis, he has called for a General Election. But this has received a backlash from the TNA and UNF who fear going to the people, as they know they have failed their people, their constituencies and this nation in whole.

    Hon. Rajapaksa has and will continue to work for this country. Baseless allegations will not affect the love and commitment he has for his people. While the UNF can continue their baseless allegations we will work. Till we reach and election so that a strong capable government can finally govern Sri Lanka.

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