ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday December 16, 2007
Vol. 42 - No 29

No action against Anura so far: Minister

Any disciplinary action against SLFP parliamentarian Anura Bandaranaike will have to be decided by the party’s Central Committee but so far no action has been initiated, Minister John Seneviratne said. Although Mr. Bandaranaike crossed over to the opposition in parliament on Friday just before the final vote on the budget was taken, he has not tendered his resignation from his post as Minister for National Heritage.

Repeated attempts to contact Mr. Bandaranaike to verify the reason for deciding to sit in the opposition but walking out prior the vote on Friday failed and his Private Secretary A.H.M. Onis said, “the minister will not be available for comment today.” Mr. Onis also said he was unaware whether Mr. Bandaraniake was at his official residence at Acland House, Colombo or at his ancestral home in Horogolla.

A Sunday Times reporter and photographer who went to Acland House and asked permission to meet Mr. Bandaranaike were told by the security personnel on duty last afternoon to wait for a few minutes till they checked from inside if they could enter the premises. One of the security men returned shortly and said they were unaware if Mr. Bandaranaike was inside and they had been asked not to let anyone in.

On Friday Mr. Bandaranaike had told his SLFP colleagues in Parliament that he walked out of the Chamber prior to the budget vote because he could not vote against the party founded by his father. Minister Seneviratne said be believed Mr. Bandaranaike was misled by the UNP into believing that the JVP would vote against the budget and several SLFP members too would be crossing over prior to the vote.

“Mr.Bandaranaike has not been attending Parliament and was unaware of what was going on in Parliament and was misled into believing the Government will lose the vote,” he said. Minister Seneviratne also alleged that Mr. Bandaranaike was prevented from entering the Chambers from the government side and was instead forced into sitting in the Opposition.

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