The TNA and the JVP couldn’t be expected to join an UNP-led government though they worked closely last year to defeat the constitutional coup, Senior Lecturer, Open University, Dr. Harini Amarasuriya said, yesterday.
Dr. Amarasuriya said it wouldn’t be fair to pressure the TNA and the JVP to accept portfolios in a national government under any circumstances. The academic said so when The Island asked her as to why the TNA and the JVP couldn’t help the UNP consolidate its hold in parliament.
The TNA and the JVP parliamentary groups consist of 16 and 06 members, respectively.
Dr. Amarasuriya said that the UNP could depend on the TNA and the JVP to support it as long as it followed people-friendly policies.
Both the TNA and the JVP have repeatedly ruled out the possibility in accepting portfolios in a UNP-led government. They moved the Court of Appeal along with the UNP against the appointment of Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Prime Minister by filing quo warranto petition that compelled twice President to give up Office on Dec 15, 2018.
Asked whether she represented any political party or organization, Dr. Amarasuriya denied any affiliation with any particular grouping.
Commenting on the troubled UNP proposal for the formation of a national government with those lawmakers loyal to President Maithripala Sirisena, Dr. Amarasuriya said that there was absolutely no basis for such an arrangement.
President Sirisena on Oct 26, 2018 quit the first national government formed after the last general election.
Dr. Amarasuriya said that she strongly opposed manipulation of the Constitution to achieve political objectives.
Perhaps, only a general election could pave the way for a stable government, she said, noting that an early election couldn’t be called in terms of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution unless such a proposal received a two-thirds approval in parliament.
Dr. Amarasuriya said that Sri Lanka should be able to manage its affairs with a 30-member Cabinet.
Dr. Amarasuriya said that moves being made to increase the number of Cabinet ministers to 48 and non-cabinet ranks to 45 couldn’t be accepted. If India with such a massive population could manage with 25 ministers, there was no justification in little Sri Lanka having jumbo sized cabinet.
Dr. Amarasuriya said that as presidential election was scheduled for Nov-January 2019, political parties could explore the possibility of advancing general election. The academic stressed that desired political stability couldn’t be achieved by expanding cabinet. She also condemned efforts to exploit possible shortcomings in the Constitution to the advantage of political parties.
Dr. Amarasuriya said that crossovers should be subjected to by-election or some sort of agreed process. The National List should not be used to accommodate defeated candidates, she said.
The UPFA, UNP and the JVP accommodated defeated candidates on their National Lists.