Parliament is due to vote on a Motion of No Confidence (NCM) against the government of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe tomorrow, an exercise United National Party leaders are saying, they will win.
The NCM proposed by the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna is faulting the government for not taking action to prevent the Easter Sunday attacks, despite warnings that such strikes by Islamist extremists were imminent.
Even if the government loses the vote, Parliament cannot be dissolved until the end of the first quarter of next year. It can be dissolved only by the House passing a resolution to do so.
“There were plenty of warnings and evidence of these extremist groups, but the government did not heed them,” the General Secretary of the JVP Anura Kumara Dissanayake told Parliament today July 10.
He said the information had been passed on to various divisions in the police department including the VIP Security Division.
“So how can Ministers say that they did not know of the imminent attack,” he asked.
“The Prime Minister cannot say he is not responsible because he was not invited to Security Council meetings. He has to be there and why does he talk about it only after the blasts happened,” Dissanayake said.
In reply, the UNP’s Highways Minister Kabir Hashim said that in his electorate of Mawanella he and his party supporters had detected extremist actions and helped the police to arrest them.
“My party staff worked alongside the Intelligence Services and we helped find the cache of weapons explosives in Wanathavilluwa,” he said. “My Coordinating Secretary Thaslim was shot in the head by these extremists and remains paralysed today,” he added.
The Joint Opposition has said that it will support the NCM against the government. However, its leaders and many Members of Parliament from the group were not present in the House today.
Both the Leader of the Opposition Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Chief Opposition Whip Dinesh Gunewardene were absent.
The Tamil National Alliance and most Muslim MPs are expected to vote with the government.