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No-confidence motion against Rajapaksa blocked

Wednesday, 18 May 2022 | 4:02 am | 68 times

No-confidence motion against Rajapaksa blocked

A move by Sri Lanka’s opposition parties to force a no-confidence motion against President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in parliament has been blocked by the ruling party, an official said.

M A Sumanthiran, a legislator from the opposition Tamil National Alliance, on Tuesday proposed that parliament bypass procedure and take up the motion against Rajapaksa urgently.

But the ruling party defeated the motion with a 119-68 vote.

However, the motion can be taken up for debate later as a normal proposal, Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said.

The opposition move was prompted by growing dissent against the president due to the current economic crisis – the worst the island nation has faced since independence from the British in 1948 – which has resulted in fuel, food and medicine shortages.

The parliamentary motion accused Rajapaksa of being responsible for the economic crisis by introducing untimely tax cuts and prohibiting the use of chemical fertilisers, which resulted in crop failures.

It also said the president mismanaged the COVID-19 pandemic, using it for militarisation, promotion of non-scientific solutions and making unfavourable deals on vaccines.

“The objective of getting the motion passed on an urgent basis was to show that the president no longer enjoys the confidence of the parliament,” opposition member Mujibar Rahuman said.

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