SJB willing to support all-party governance without accepting ministerial portfolios

(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – Ranjith Madduma Bandara, the General Secretary of the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) said party leader and leader of the opposition Sajith Premadasa told President Ranil Wickramasinghe that his party would support an all-party governance program but would not accept ministerial portfolios.

Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa has expressed this view during a special discussion held between the President and the opposition leader yesterday (22) at the Presidential Secretariat. SJB General Secretary Ranjith Madduma Bandara has also joined this discussion along with the opposition leader.

Several issues including party’s support for an all-party governance, re-implementation of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, dates on which an upcoming election can be held, and giving the main positions of COPE, COPA and other parliamentary committees to the opposition, have been discussed at the meeting.

Ranjith Madduma Bandara said the SJB had informed the President that the party was against arresting activists under the PTA and discussed on stopping the current arrests and repressive measures.

Madduma Bandara also said the SJB had requested for chairperson positions in key parliamentary committees such as the COPE and COPA.

SJB General Secretary mentioned that the opposition leader has asked the President to appoint a limited number of members to the cabinet that is expected to be formed soon.

Madduma Bandara said the President had briefed the Opposition Leader and himself about the government plans for the future betterment of the country.

Following the meeting, Opposition Leader tweeted that he had a “forthright amicable discussion” with President Ranil Wickremesinghe on the challenges faced by the country.

“Re-emphasized SJB’s commitment to support all progressive initiatives via parliamentary committee system & stressed our grave reservations on the use of PTA as state policy,” Premadasa said.

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