The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), which defended the appointment of TNA Parliamentary Group Leader R. Sampanthan as the Leader of the Opposition (OL), explained that the latter had been appointed in accordance with Parliamentary traditions.
JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that they had backed Mr. Sampanthan for the post as he was from the party that had the most number of seats among the parties in the opposition.
He said the UPFA cannot claim the opposition leader’s post as it has signed an agreement with the UNP to form a joint government. He pointed out that there were only six recognized parties represented in Parliament, namely UNF, UPFA, SLMC, TNA, JVP and the EPDP.
Therefore, if one of them, in this case the UPFA, had decided to sign an agreement to form a joint government, then it cannot be considered as an opposition party.
As a result the appointment of Mr. Sampanthan as the Opposition Leader was justifiable. Furthermore, he reasoned that denying the TNA this post could result in dire consequences as the party would have resorted to forming a separate Parliament to resolve their issues. “One should first consider the repercussions of isolating the TNA before taking rash decisions,” he said. (Yohan Perera)
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