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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 109

Sri Lanka Government sails through in the crucial budget 2008 voting

Colombo, 15 December, ( Sri Lanka Government won the crucial third reading of the budget yesterday with 114 voting in its favor and 67 opposing. The 38 JVP members abstained from voting.

Chief Government Whip, Jeyaraj Fernandopulle told hat it was the LTTE and no one else that was behind moves to defeat the budget. "It was obviously an attempt to reverse the victories achieved by the security forces in the Eastern Province.

Wimal Weerawansa, Propaganda Secretary of the JVP, addressing parliament said that his party was not ready to be anyone's catspaw and makes decisions in the best interest of the country and the people.

"The JVP is a party that could change its stances when the shifting situations call for it. We will use our vote today against the parasites and conspirators,” Wimal Weerawansa said. Weerawansa made a special statement to the House yesterday taking up the full time allocation of JVP MPs.

“We declared our stance at the last moment. We were successful on November 19th. We will do that today as well. The JVP is not a party that buries its principles. We wanted to see this funny game. All the decisions we have taken so far have proven correct,” he said.

Along with JVP, SLFP parliamentarian Wijeyadasa Rajapaksa abstained from voting. The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and four Sri Lanka Muslim Congress MPs voted against the Budget - 2008 of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse.

Soon after the voting was over there was a pandemonium in the House as SLFP parliamentarians Mahindananda Aluthgamage and Jagath Pushpakumara placed a wreath in front of the opposition leader's chair, antagonizing the UNP.

In the meantime National Heritage Minister Anura Bandaranaike, who sat with opposition, left parliament premises one hour before the voting whileVen Uduwe Dhammaloka and Nandana Gunatilleka voted for the budget.

Three TNA MP's from Batticaloa, S. Jeyanandamoorthy, Thangeswari Kathiraman and P. Ariyanethran were not present at the Parliament.

The TNA national list member Eelaventahn could not attend the Parliament as his seat was anounced vacated.

Rebel SLFP members Mangala Samaraweera and Sripathy Sooriyaratchi voted against the Budget.

The voting commenced yesterday around 5.00p.m by name for and against the budget. The UNP (Democratic Group), Jathika Hela Urumaya, Upcountry People's Front, Mahajana Eksath Peramuna and the Ceylon Workers' Congress voted for the budget, while the UNP (Ranil Group), Tamil National Alliance and the Western Province People's Front voted against it.

- Asian Tribune -

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