The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) ran into chaos on its 147th anniversary today after the opposition UPFA gained control of the Standing Committee on Finance.
Four of the six members elected to the committee were UPFA members. Mayor A.J.M. Muzammil adjourned the council sessions after some UNP members of the council including Premajantha Kasthuriarachchi and Sunil Withanage protested charging that some UNP members had been bought over. Mr. Withanage charged that UNPers who voted for UPFA members had been promised Rs.200,000 each and a trip to the US.
A request made by some UNP members for a fresh election was rejected. However UPFA member Mohamed Ramzi said this was a result of the present divisions within the UNP.
UPFA member Roy Bogahawatte said the majority of the members decided to vote against the members nominated by the mayor as UPFA member Asath Sally’s name was included. He said the majority of UPFA members disliked Mr. Sally as he did not work with the UPFA group.
However according to the Municipal ordinance the term of the finance committee and other standing committees are limited to one year and new members are elected annually.
Meanwhile, UNP Member Mufti Mushin alleged that he had received death threats from UPFA Member Mohamed Maharoof.
The powers of the other three standing committees were secured by the UNP and DPF group. This was a result of an MoU signed by the UNP and DPF. Accordingly the DPF will chair some of the standing committees. (Yohan Perera) - (Pix by Pradeep Dilrukshana)