News

SJB puts anti-Aluthgamage NCM on hold

  • ‘To be reconsidered at the right time’

BY Buddhika Samaraweera

Although the main Parliamentary Opposition the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) last week stated that it hoped to bring a no-confidence motion (NCM) against Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage, this will not take place in the near future, The Morning learnt.

When contacted by The Morning, SJB National Organiser and Parliamentarian Tissa Attanayake, on 18 October, stated that the final decision with regard to the NCM against Aluthgamage would, most likely, be taken on 21 October. However, when inquired about the matter, Attanayake told The Morning yesterday (25) that the NCM was not discussed due to other issues that have arisen at present.

“We have not discussed it yet, since several other issues arose,” he stated.

When questioned as to whether plans to bring the NCM against Aluthgamage had been abandoned, he said that a final decision would be taken at the right time.

“It is not possible to say that we have abandoned the plan. We will discuss it when the right time comes,” he added.

Aluthgamage was unavailable for comment on the matter.

Issues have arisen with the Government’s decision to ban the import of chemical fertiliser and to direct farmers to use organic fertiliser instead. A number of agitations were held in recent days, especially by various organisations, including farmers organisations, demanding fertiliser. During the protests, there was strong opposition to Aluthgamage.

The SJB, last July, brought a NCM against Energy Minister Udaya Gammanpila in opposition to the Government’s decision to hike fuel prices in June 2021, and Gammanpila won against the SJB’s NCM by a majority of 91 votes. The NCM received 61 votes in favour while it received 152 votes against. The ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) voted against it, while the SJB, the United National Party (UNP), the National People’s Power (NPP), and the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK) voted in favour.