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‘Political Gain During Pandemic’: Sri Lankan President Rejects Opposition Call to Reconvene Parliament

File photo of Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. (AP)

File photograph of Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. (AP)

On April 27, seven opposition events urged President Rajapaksa to summon the dissolved Parliament whereas pledging cooperation to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic within the nation.

  • PTI
  • Last Updated: May 1, 2020, 12:45 PM IST

New Delhi: Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has declined a request from the opposition events to reconvene the dissolved Parliament, saying they’re attempting to make a political acquire at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the nation.

Rajapaksa on March 2 dissolved the Parliament, six months forward of schedule, and known as a snap election on April 25 to elect a brand new 225-member home.

However, the election fee in mid-April postponed the parliamentary elections by practically two months to June 20 because of the coronavirus outbreak, which has contaminated 665 folks and claimed seven lives within the island nation.

The new date clashed with the constitutional crucial that the brand new Parliament has to fulfill inside three months since its dissolution.

On April 27, seven opposition events urged President Rajapaksa to summon the dissolved Parliament whereas pledging cooperation to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We urge the president to respond positively to this offer of responsible cooperation by us at this critical time and revoke the proclamation dated 2 March 2020 dissolving parliament so that all of us can jointly fight to eradicate this virus,” mentioned a joint assertion issued by the opposition events.

Rajapaksa rejected the opposition name to reconvene the House, in response to a press assertion launched by the President’s workplace on Thursday.

The president claimed the opposition is attempting to make a political acquire at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the nation, it mentioned.

The opposition events argued that Rajapaksa has no energy to attract public funds after April 30, the date until which the dismissed Parliament had authorised expenditure by the president.

“Getting appropriate and new legislation passed in order to meet the public health crisis and obtaining parliamentary sanction to the utilization of monies from the consolidated fund are some such important and urgent functions of parliament,” the opposition had claimed within the joint assertion.

In a letter despatched to opposition leaders on Thursday evening, Rajapaksa maintained that he nonetheless has the ability to attract cash from the consolidated fund.

The joint assertion was signed by United National Party (UNP) chief Ranil Wickremesinghe, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) chief R Sampanthan, Sri Lanka Muslim Congress chief Rauff Hakeem, Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA) chief Mano Ganesan, All Ceylon Makkal Congress chief Rishard Bathuideen, Jathika Hela Urumaya’s (JHU) Patali Champika Ranawaka and former Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa.

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