Sep 20, 2020

Minority parties split over 20A Featured

It is reported that there is a strong division among minority parties over whether they should back the 20th Amendment or not.

This division has arisen within the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, the Tamil Progressive Alliance and the All Ceylon Muslim Congress.

It is said that the most severe division is reported from the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, which has 05 MPs in the House.

The 'Deshaya' newspaper reports that 03 members have stated their intention to back the government regardless of any decision taken by the party.

The newspaper further quotes them as saying that SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem should take a common decision as a party.

However, the government has not yet extended an official invitation to Hakeem to join the government and therefore the SLMC leader is said to be in a fix.

Although certain talks had been held with the Mano Ganeshan and Digambaram, leaders of the Tamil Progressive Alliance, no formal invitation had been extended to them either. It is said that out of the 06 MPs of the TPA, 04 are of the opinion that they should back the government.

Meanwhile, is said that the government has not requested the Rishad Bathiudeen of the All Ceylon Muslim Congress to support the 20th Amendment.

It is reported that a policy decision has been taken not to make Bathiudeen join the government camp at all. However, 02 of the ACMC MPs have proposed to back the government while functioning independently in parliament.

In this backdrop, the government is said to be preferring to seek the MP support not on a party level.

In addition to the crisis situation in these three parties, MPs of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party remain undecided on whether to back or not back the 20th Amendment.

The majority of the SLFP is of the opinion that only certain sections of the constitutional Amendment should defeated rather than the entire thing.