Money Matters

Sri Lankas ruling party MPs have been offered up to four million dollars in cash and foreign scholarships to defect to the presidents party, a government minister said Tuesday
Seven MPs from Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghes United National Party (UNP) had been approached by President Chandrika Kumaratungas loyalists with the cash offer to cross the floor of parliament, Agriculture Minister S. B. Dissanayake told reporters.rn

rnThere was no immediate reaction from the presidents office to the government allegation, but horse trading is not uncommon in Sri Lankas divisive politics.rn

rnHowever, an anti-defection law makes sure that any MP who switches sides can be expelled by their party and lose their seat.rn

rnSome legislators were offered amounts ranging from US$ 50 mn to US$ 60 mn together with promises of foreign educational scholarships for their children, Dissanayake said.rn

rnHe said Wickremesinghe has instructed the legislators to complain that they were offered bribes and press for