SLFP General Secretary Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said today they defeated resolution to raise the Treasury Bills threshold because the Finance Minister had informed Parliament that they had enough funds to pay salaries thus contradicting the Government’s earlier reason for the need of a bond issue.
He asked why the Government needed to raise the TB threshold if it had enough funds and said the Government had acted in a callous and arrogant manner during the debate without showing any semblance of cooperation.
Mr. Yapa said neither the Finance Minister nor the Prime Minister were present in the parliament during the voting.
“When the government clarified that the Bill was to pay the salaries of state employees, we agreed to support it. However, the Finance Minister had maintained throughout the entire debate that they had adequate funds to pay salaries and started lashing out at the opposition. How can the Government expect us to vote in favour of the resolution after such behavior,” he told a news conference held at the SLFP head office in Colombo.
He said the SLFP members were not prepared to raise their hands in agreement to each and every regulation forwarded by the United National Party (UNP).
Meanwhile, SLFP Senior Vice President and Chief Opposition Whip W.D.J. Seneviratne said the resolution was defeated to condemn the approach by the government to gain the support of the opposition.
Commenting on the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, he said the fundamental rights of the people would be violated if the Amendment was presented in the Parliament tomorrow without giving room for the people to study it.
“We are completely against the government’s move to present constitutional reforms on April 9 and 10 hastily. It keeps adding more reforms to the reforms already gazetted and submitted in the Supreme Court,” he said adding even they were clueless as to what had been inserted in the 19th Amendment.
Mr. Seneviratne reiterated that the SLFP would not support the 19th Amendment if the electoral reforms were not brought simultaneously. (Lahiru Pothmulla)