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APC on 13A: SLPP rebels reject President’s latest endeavour, ask govt. to speak with one voice

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Charitha Herath

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Rebel SLPP MP Prof. Charitha Herath yesterday (24) urged President Ranil Wickremesinghe to reach a consensus with Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, and the ruling SLPP, regarding the post-war reconciliation process and devolution proposals before convening another All-Party Conference (APC).

Herath said so addressing the media at their Nawala office. He stressed that the Wickremesinghe-Rajapaksa government should speak with one voice on this matter.

He said the APC summoned for 26 July at the Presidential Secretariat would be an exercise in futility. The President called the APC following his latest consultations with the Indian leadership.

President Wickremesinghe is on record as having said that he will consult all political parties represented in Parliament regarding the full implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.

Alleging that the proposed APC was meant to woo Tamil votes, Prof. Herath said that no useful purpose would be served by such acts of political expediency. The MP said that the President’s latest endeavor should be boycotted. Prof. Herath said that President Wickremesinghe, Premier Dinesh Gunawardena and SLPP General Secretary Sagara Kariyawasam repeatedly gave contradictory views on the 13th Amendment.

Prof. Herath said that President Wickremesinghe, whose UNP with just one seat backed full implementation of the 13th Amendment whereas Premier Gunawardena’s party, MEP with three seats, didn’t like it. The SLPP with about 90 MPs, too, didn’t accept the full implementation of the controversial Amendment, Prof. Herath said, pointing out that the SLPP General Secretary had clearly stated their stand on this matter.

Herath pointing out the contradictions said that Wckremesinghe during his tenure as the yahapalana Premier crippled Provincial Councils. Having done so, Wickremesinghe, in his capacity as the President, wanted to devolve powers to the PCs, he said.

Emphasizing that Wickremesinghe elected to complete the remainder of Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s five –year term won at the last presidential poll conducted in Nov 2019 had no right to enter into far reaching agreements with India or any other country, MP Herath urged the Opposition not to be deceived by the Wickremesinghe political strategy.

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