Motion against CJ to be dropped
Government, opposition work out compromise
By Harinda Vidanage and Santhush Fernando
The joint opposition and the UPFA government are reported to be working out a compromise whereby the oppostion would drop its motion for the appointment of a select committee to probe the conduct of Chief Justice Sarath N Silva.

The Sunday Times learns that in return the UPFA government would drop moves for the appointment of select committees to probe the conduct of former ministers Ravi Karunanayake and Rauff Hakeem

The joint opposition on Tuesday submitted to Parliamentary Secretary General Priyani Wijesekara a motion calling for the appointment of a select committee to probe allegations that the Chief Justice was found in a compromising position with a female around the Parliament area early this month.

The Jathika Hela Urumaya was among those who signed the proposal, but on Friday it decided to withdraw its support for the motion. JHU leader Ven Ellawala Medhananda Thera, who earlier signed the motion for the select committee, told The Sunday Times yesterday the party was withdrawing its support because it believed there was no need to probe the behaviour of an individual.

The Sunday Times learns that discussions about the government-opposition compromise were started between deputy minister Sripathi Suriyaarachchi and opposition chief whip, Mahinda Samarasinghe.

Mr. Suriyaarchchi told The Sunday Times that discussions were under way though no agreement was reached. But other sources said a compromise had been worked out. Mr. Samarasinghe when contacted refused to confirm or deny reports that a compromise had been reached to withdraw the motion against the Chief Justice.

Parliamentary Secretary General Priyani Wijesekara said she had not received any instructions regarding the withdrawal until yesterday and she would go ahead to place the motion on the order paper. However the proposal could be withdrawn subsequently or allowed to lapse after being placed on the order paper, she explained.

Earlier this week, the UPFA parliamentary group signed and handed over a motion to appoint a select committee to investigate corruption allegations against former minister Ravi Karunanayake, especially the alleged fraud in the purchase of a building for the CWE.

The Sunday Times learns this motion was handed over to the parliamentary Secretary General to counter the opposition motion on the Chief Justice. Mr. Sooriyarachchi also warned that another motion would be introduced to probe the allegedly immoral or unethical conduct of SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem.

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