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Marasinghe quits Parliamentary post after vote loss

"Embarrassing but not fatal" says House Leader Lakshman Kiriella, as Marasinghe says he "is shaken"

Photo: wikipedia.org

The Assistant Chief Government Whip of the Government Prof. Ashu Marasinghe quit his post this morning saying he was deeply embarrassed by yesterday’s loss of two votes during the Committee stage of the Budget.

The Government was defeated when a poll was called for two Ministry allocations, but the ruling party says they will resubmit these to the House shortly for another vote.

Leader of the House Minister Lakshman Kiriella admitted “it was embarrassing but not fatal.”

Speaking to RepublicNext, Kiriella said that at the party leaders meeting “there was an understanding that was reached that no votes would be taken at this stage. However the opposition asked for a vote and this is what happened.”

In his letter of resignation sent to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and released to the Media, Marasinghe said that all Government Members of Parliament should accept responsibility for this debacle.

He went on to say he “was shaken by what has happened,”and offered his apologies to Ministers Vajira Abewardene and Champika Ranawaka whose votes on allocations were defeated

Neither Kiriella not Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe were in Parliament at the time.

The vote for the Ministry of Internal and Home Affairs and Provincial Councils and Local Government was Western Development was defeated by 14 votes.

On Social Media there was considerable anger against the missing MPs.

The incident was embarrassing as out of 107 Government MPs only 24 were in the House. Attendance overall in Parliament has been desultory during this Budget debate.