Ranil should quit Temple Trees - jvp | Daily News

Ranil should quit Temple Trees - jvp

If the UNP is genuine in bringing the motion to cut the expenditure of the Secretary to the Prime Minister to prevent a misuse of public funds, former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe should also leave Temple Trees immediately after the passage of the motion, JVP Leader MP Anura Dissanyake said.

Speaking in Parliament yesterday, he pointed out neither former President Mahinda Rajapaksa nor Wickremesinghe has the right to enjoy the privileges of a PM in a context where there is no Government in the country.

“Yesterday (Wednesday) all members of Local Government bodies were summoned to the main hall of Temple Trees. This meeting should have been taken place at Sirikotha. Who pays for electricity bill and hall charges of Temple Trees? The tax payers have to bear the burden of two Prime Ministers now. Former President Rajapaksa is also only entitled to the privileges of an MP. But he in vain tries to show that he is the PM and uses public money for that show. That is why we support this motion to stop state funds being used by the PM’s Secretary,” he added.

UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella replied that the cost for Wednesday’s meeting at Temple Trees including the electricity bill is being borne privately by the UNP and its supporters. At this point, MP Dissanayake asked whether Temple Trees has become a hotel to be hired by any individual and Kiriella replied that Temple Trees would be made available for the JVP too if needed.

Rauf Hakeem taking the floor contended that Wickremesinghe was occupying Temple Trees because they were of the opinion that his removal should be treated as invalid from the outset. “We say the decision by the President to remove Wickremesinghe is ‘ab initio void’ and that matter is now before the Supreme Court through a petition. Therefore, we cannot come to the conclusion that Wickremesinghe is illegally occupying Temple Trees. Wickremesinge had always respected the verdict of the people and had honourably left the Temple Trees. Here when the Executive President has unlawfully and unconstitutionally removed the PM, it is his contention and our contention that he can remain there as a legal occupant unless the court holds the otherwise. I would dare say that we would even be willing replenish all the costs that might incur out of wrongful occupation of the Temple Trees if the court holds otherwise,” Hakeem stressed.

He further said that the current Constitutional crisis was a result of not realizing that the 19th Amendment was meant to curtail the powers of the Executive President. He however welcomed Dr.Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe’s gesture for reconciliation and said the Speaker should consider it to end the confrontation of the two parties.


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