COLOMBO: The Sri Lankan government headed by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Thursday defeated a no-confidence motion in Parliament that accused it of failing to prevent the Easter Sunday terror attacks that killed 258 people despite receiving intelligence inputs from India.
The motion, moved by the Marxist JVP, against Prime Minister Wickremesinghe’s government was defeated by a vote of 119-92 after two days of debate.
The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) had moved a 12-point no trust motion saying the government should not remain in office because it failed to respond to the intelligence reports ahead of the attacks by Islamic extremists on April 21.
“This government has failed to protect the people and have failed in everything over the last four years. We urge them to resign,” JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said.
Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa-led Opposition said that they were glad to support the motion despite the JVP’s record of backing the current government.
“The JVP has finally realised their folly of supporting this government,” Vasudeva Nanayakkara, a Rajapaksa backer said.
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP) asked the JVP if they wanted to bring back the Rajapaksa regime with all their “hideous record” in governance.
The UNP said the JVP clearly excluded President Maithripala Sirisena from the motion while laying the blame on the UNP.
“It is president Sirisena who is the minister of defence,” UNP legislator Thushara Indunil Amarasena said.
Rajapaksa’s camp charged that the Easter Sunday bombings could have been prevented as the intelligence reports have been made available by a friendly country, India.
Yet no action was taken due to the power struggle between Sirisena and Wickremesinghe.
The main Tamil party leader R Sampanthan said his party voted in favour of the government as its human rights record was better than the previous regime.
“Our people suffered badly under your government,” Sampanthan told Rajapaksa-led opposition. PTI Corr