Colombo, May 4 (IANS) Sri Lanka’s main Opposition has handed over an impeachment motion to oust beleaguered President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and a no confidence motion against government lead by his elder brother Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Sajith Premadasa Opposition leader and leader of the Samagi Jana Balawegaya or United People’s Force handed over two motions to the Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena who is to announce their future cause in Parliament on Wednesday.
No-faith motion is needed majority vote out of 225 MPs while the impeachment of President is a tougher battle 2/3 majority in Parliament followed by the Supreme Court approval is required.
Samagi Jana Balawegaya with nearly 50 MPs in the Parliament needs the support of other Opposition parties and a number of defections from the government.
In its no-faith motion against the government, the Opposition charged that the Prime Minister and the ministers had failed in their collective responsibility to update the Parliament on the financial situation. Making multiple charges, the opposition accused the government has failed to provide basic facilities like food, clothing and housing to its people and made Sri Lanka, the country that has the lowest economic development in South Asia.
“The citizens were subjected to an unbearable inflation by printing over Lkr 3 trillion and the government had never updated the Parliament on this,” the Opposition stated.
The Opposition also accused government for its arbitrary decision to ban chemical fertilizer and placing country’s food security in jeopardy, destroyed the economy by failing to provide fuel and cooking gas and by importing substandard gas and killing eight people due to gas explosions. The government also has severely inconvenienced people by failing to provide power and essential medicines and other equipment’s to run the hospitals. During the Covid-19 pandemic the government “failed” to follow advices given by the medical experts and thereby allowed the death of over 10,000.
In its impeachment motion the Opposition charged that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa misused his powers on April 1 by imposing state of emergency and ban on social media to prevent protest against him. The Opposition accused Rajapaksa government over the killing of a protestor during a public protest demanding fuel.
The Opposition also accused President Rajapaksa’s immediate ban on chemical fertilizers and in delaying to seek the International Monetary Fund (IMF) assistance to face the financial crisis. President has admitted both decisions as ‘mistakes’ and they had adverse impact on the economy, the Opposition said.
The island nation is going through its worst economic crisis with no essential food, fuel, cooking gas and medicine available in stocks and long hours of daily power cuts due to lack fuel for power generation. For more than a month, people have been protesting on streets and Sri Lankans around the world demanding that President Gotabaya and the government be resigned. Protestors have blocked President’s Office and Prime Minister’s official resident Temple Trees.
Trade unions which held a one-day token strike last week is planning to have an island wide ‘Hartal’ on Friday demanding the government to quit.