Sri Lanka’s political heads growl at each other over dissolving parliament

Apr 09, 2015 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s superlative legislature is turning out to be a playground of contenders challenging each other to dissolve parliament ahead of a general election.

After the defeat of a finance related regulation yesterday the opposition in show of its strength shouted at the government to dissolve parliament immediately thinking it was a finance bill.
Navaratna Bandara, a professor of political science told LBO that the demand is incorrect and merely a moral issue.

“This was not a finance bill. Bills such as the appropriation bill or supplementary estimates can only be considered as finance bills,”
“The opposition tries to show this as a big loss for the government but this is not the case. It is only if a budget is defeated that then it triggers a dissolution motive.” the professor said.

The said motion was intended to increase the threshold of treasury bills from 850 billion rupees to 1,250 billion rupees.

Even though Sri Lanka has an overall debt ceiling and a limitation of Treasury bill borrowings; there is no limitation for Treasury bond borrowings.

Deputy Economic Affairs Minister Harsha de Silva told LBO Wednesday that through this defeat the opposition as put more burdens on society and the people.

“Actually all we were trying to do is to reduce our cost of borrowing by moving it to the short end of the market which has low yields and retire some of the high yielding debt,”

“This was not a bill that needed a vote it was not even a bill only a regulation. And Nimal Siripala de Silva said we were not going to go for a vote,”

“If it was something like a vote then we had prepared for this challenge with the opposition and had our numbers, so this is a back stabbing exercise, not to us but even to the leader of the opposition,”

“This is the strength they seem to have the leftovers of the Mahinda Rajapakse regime.” de Silva said.

However on the contrary, the opposition demands a dissolution; the government has also threatened the opposition saying that they are dissolving parliament if the 19th amendment is defeated.

The Rajapaksa fraction of the opposition seems to convince other opposition members to rise against the government, dampening the affairs of the current parliament.

Both the government and the opposition seem to play the same card at the same time.