Daily Archives: September 3, 2015
The proposal to increase the number of ministers in the National Government was approved by Parliament with a majority of 127 votes today.
The motion was passed with 143 voting for and 16 against while another 63 MPs were absent during the vote.
The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (MEP), National Freedom Front (NFF) and MP Udaya Gammanpila voted against the proposal while the TNA and several UPFA members abstained.
The approved motion was to increase the number of Cabinet Ministers to 48 and the number of non-cabinet Ministers to 45.
As per the 19th amendment to the constitution the total number of cabinet ministers is limited to 30 while the total number of deputy ministers and state ministers should not exceed 40.
However, in the event of a National Government being formed the total number of ministers can be increased with the approval of the Parliament.
The motion was extensively debated in Parliament throughout the day before a vote was taken this evening.
A Tamil lawmaker became leader of the opposition in Sri Lanka’s parliament for the first time in 32 years on Thursday, in the latest sign of progress towards ethnic reconciliation on the once bitterly divided island.
Rajavarothiam Sampanthan is the first lawmaker from the ethnic minority to lead the opposition since 1983, when Tamil legislators resigned en masse to protest against a statute that compelled them to denounce separatism.
The 82-year-old moderate heads the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), which emerged from last month’s election as the third-largest force with 16 seats in the 225-member assembly.
“We shall be loyal to this country and the people of this country,” Sampanthan told the House on Thursday.
“Our primary duty is to ensure that there is an acceptable resolution to the Tamil question.”
TNA’s Sampanthan becomes opposition leader in Sri Lankan parliament MORE
The Leader of the Opposition by convention leads the largest party not within the government: where one party wins outright this is the party leader of the second largest political party in the House. He or she is normally viewed as an alternative Prime Minister,.. That said any leading MP of the UPFA can become the opposition leader.