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MR undecided on PSC participation against Bathiudeen

Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said he will “examine his conscience” on whether or not to be part of the Parliament Select Committee (PSC) appointed to investigate allegations levelled at Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, as the Government can defeat any effort by the Joint Opposition.

The Government on Tuesday decided to appoint a PSC to probe allegations listed in the No Confidence Motion handed over by the Joint Opposition. However since the Government has the majority in Parliament, any action on the findings of the PSC could be limited.

Speaking to media at the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) head office, following a meeting with SLPP members, Rajapaksa said the majority of the PSC will consist of Government MPs, and therefore he was not confident the Committee would be transparent or effective.

“The Opposition MPs will meet and discuss the situation. After that we will take a final decision on whether we will be a part of the PSC,” he added.

Meanwhile, Rajapaksa said that he believes President Maithripala Sirisena will not attempt to seek an extension on his term. “He came for one term only. I do not think he has any intention to stay for two terms in office,” he said.

However, Rajapaksa said if Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) attempted to extend the term of President Maithripala Sirisena, the Opposition will take legal action.

SLPP claimed on Monday that they had received confidential inside information that an SLFP attempt to seek the Supreme Court’s opinion to extend the term of the President to 2020 was in the works, and warned that could scupper ongoing talks between the two parties.

The SLFP has not publicly said it will look to extend Sirisena’s term recently. However, SLFP General Secretary Dayasiri Jayasekera had earlier told media they may seek a fresh clarification from the Supreme Court on President Sirisena’s term.

(FT)

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