NCM against Rishad: SLFP to boycott PSC deliberations

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SLFP General Secretary Dayasiri Jayasekara said yesterday his party would not participate in the deliberations of the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) appointed to look into the Easter Sunday attacks, to discuss the no-confidence motion against Trade and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen.

He said the SLFP would not let Parliament discuss the interim report of the select committee either.

Addressing the weekly news briefing at the party office, he said the interim report of the select committee needed to be taken up in Parliament subsequent to the debate on the no-confidence motion against Minister Bathiudeen on June 18 and 19.

The select committee chaired by Deputy Speaker J.M. Ananda Kumarasiri was appointed on May 22 to look into and report to Parliament on the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks.

Responding to a journalist, Mr. Jayasekara said the SLFP’s Central Committee would meet soon to take a final decision of the party on the no-confidence motion.

“All SLFP members must abide by the Central Committee decision and cannot vote for or against the no-confidence motion on their own accord. It will be the most pragmatic decision of the party and will not betray the feelings of the people. However, we will have to take into account the political, social and national implications on the no-confidence motion,” he said.

Responding to another question raised by a journalist, he said the select committee had not been mandated to discuss the no-confidence motion as it had a specific task and that was to probe and report to Parliament on the terrorist attacks in April.

He said the UNP had distorted the no-confidence motion by widening the scope to include governors and officials to be summoned and grilled at the select committee inquiry.

“The no-confidence motion before the select committee is not the one signed by 64 members and submitted to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya. The SLFP is not concerned over the stance taken by the SLPP on the no-confidence motion. It is obvious that all SLPP members will vote in favour of the motion,” he said.