Feeling the Pinch

lquote Can the new government summon enough numbers to appoint a Speaker of its choice and announce its policy statement? Speculation is rife in Colombo but the all-powerful minorities are taking it cool.

Sri Lankas 13th Parliament will meet tomorrow amidst speculation on the new governments ability to muster a majority.rn

rnAt its maiden sitting the new Parliament must first appoint a Speaker and the new government must also announce and pass, with a majority, its policy statement.rn

rnWith 106 seats at its disposal the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) government faces a larger collective opposition of 119.rn

rnTo tip the balance in its favour the UPFA is trying to get the support of a large enough chunk from the opposition benches, but the two main minorities that hold deciding numbers – the JHU and the TNA – are in no hurry to be supportive.rn

rnBy Wednesday evening both the clergy led Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) and the Tamil National Alliance (TN) were sticking to their lquote