SJB MPs to discuss joining Govt after New Year | Sunday Observer

SJB MPs to discuss joining Govt after New Year

9 April, 2023


The Opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) Members of Parliament (MPs) are set to meet after the New Year holidays to discuss their differences over joining the Government, according to sources close to the party. The aim of the meeting is to reach a consensus regarding their next moves. SJB MP Dr. Rajitha Senaratna confirmed that a meeting will be scheduled after President Ranil Wickremesinghe speaks about it in the First Session of Parliament after the New Year.

Sources close to the party said that most of the MPs in the collective Opposition are finding it difficult to reject President Wickremesinghe’s request to join forces with the Government to rebuild the economy.

When asked if it would be difficult for them to join the Government at the request of the President, the leader of their former party, the United National Party (UNP), Dr. Senaratna responded that he did not see any major differences in the two parties’ policies. He said that the political philosophies and ideologies of the SJB and UNP are one and the same. Therefore, it should not be hard to accede to the President’s request to form a Government of Unity.

Dr. Senaratna dismissed media speculation that the SJB was trying to strike a deal with the President, according to which President Wickremesinghe would continue as President, and SJB Leader Sajith Premadasa would be Prime Minister until the President retires. He clarified that there was no such proposal so far.

Regarding speculation that some SJB MPs including Dr. Harsha De Silva, Eran Wickremeratna, Thalatha Atukorala and Kabir Hashim, were going to join the Government, Dr. Senaratna said all will be revealed at the appropriate time. He said that he has always promoted the idea that the two main political parties should join hands to build the country.

He said that the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) has said that they will not only welcome Opposition SJB MPs , but will also offer Cabinet portfolios to them.

Dr. Senaratna commented about the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), saying that their politics have ended with vanishing fuel and LP Gas queues, Aragalaya protests, strikes and various demonstrations. Their politics are confined to opposing the Government in power or someone. They have an opportunity now to go about their kind of politics of opposing just for the sake of opposing, he added.