(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –The 16 SLFP Parliamentarians who voted in favour of the No-Confidence Motion (NCM) against the Prime Minister, yesterday decided to vacate their posts and leave the Government.
Minister W.D.J.Seneviratne speaking to the Daily News said their resignation letters were accepted by President Maithripala Sirisena when they met him for a closed door meeting at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday.
“We will not remain in the Government. We will sit in the Opposition benches at a future Parliamentary sitting day, but the date is yet to be decided,” he said.
Speaking to the media after the meeting, Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, confirming that the President accepted their resignation letters, however said that they would remain in the SLFP.
He said the 15 SLFP Ministers, Deputy and State Ministers as well as Deputy Speaker Thilanga Sumathipala would sever ties with the Government with immediate effect.
The SLFP Parliamentarians who decided to leave the Government are Susil Premajayantha, Dayasiri Jayasekara, Dilan Perera, John Seneviratne, Lakshman Wasantha Perera, Dr.Sudarshani Fernandopulle, Tharanath Basnayake, Susantha Punchinilame, Anura Yapa, S.B.Dissanayake, Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, Chandima Weerakkody, Anuradha Jayaratne, Sumedha Jayasena, T.B.Ekanayake and Deputy Speaker Thilanga Sumathipala.
Meanwhile, sources close to the SLFP said that the SLFP Central Committee would meet either today or tomorrow.
The CC meeting which was previously scheduled for 7 pm yesterday but was postponed later.
Political sources also said that the much talked about Cabinet reshuffle may take place in the afternoon today, but a final decision on that was not agreed as at yesterday night.
Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara commenting to the media yesterday said that several UNP MPs are prepared to join with the UPFA.
Meanwhile, UPFA General Secretary Minister Mahinda Amaraweera had told the media earlier that the UPFA Parliamentarians who abstained from voting for the No-Confidence Motion against the Prime Minister will not leave the Unity Government even if the 16 UPFA Parliamentarians who voted in favour of the motion leave the government.