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News


Moves to topple govt. at budget?
Somawansa, Ranil to hold crucial talks

A meeting between UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe is on the cards after the scheduled visit of Wickremesinghe to Australia this week.
Spadework for this meeting is being done by UNP MPs T. Maheswaran, Vajira Abeywardana and Mahinda Wijesekera. UNP Matara District MP Mahinda Wijesekera stepped in after Badula Gunawardane distanced himself from the committee appointed by UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to talk to the JVP.
The scope of the committee had been broadened to talk to all opposition parties including the JHU and the TNA as well after several UNP MPs opposed the move by Wickremesinghe to initiate a dialogue with the JVP.
It has now been given a new definition that the talks are mainly to discuss the implementation of the 17th amendment and to setup oversight committees in line with the American constitution. T. Maheswaran had already spoken to JVP MPs Wimal Weerawansa, Anura Kumara Dissanayake, K.D.Lalkantha and Vijitha Herath and the response had been very positive, political sources said.
Although the UNP-JVP dialogue had been mooted under the guise of forming a broad opposition alliance, the main aim of the move is to topple the existing government at the budget vote.
The JVP feels that the Mahinda Rajapaksa administration is only trying to use them to get to its own objectives and not interested in nation building.
The JVP thinking is that they should get into the government and actively engage in the administration. The JVP has pointed out to the UNP members talking to them that to get back the four ministries and the four Deputy Minister posts held by them earlier, President Mahinda Rajapaksa will have to remove 22 Ministers and deputies who are holding positions in the present government. They say that the four Ministries held by them had been distributed among a large number of ministers and that there are over 75 ministers in the government.
The JVP is to put forward their conditions for an alliance with the UNP and they are of the view that there are common areas the UNP could work together with the JVP.
After learning of UNP-JVP talks President Mahinda Rajapaksa visited parliament last week to talk to various Ministers and sort out matters.
However a section of the UNP feels that Wickremesinghe’s initiative to talk to the JVP is mainly to scuttle the ongoing talks between the government and the UNP. They feel that the UNP is sending wrong signals to the government. UNP sources said that even if the UNP agrees for a national government or not there is a group within the party to crossover to the government.
Political observers are of the view that the JVP wants to send a strong signal to the President to force him to accept their 20 point program. In any case they are of the view that if the UNP-JVP alliance clicks it will push President Mahinda Rajapaksa to dissolve parliament.