More MPs of Sri Lanka opposition party to crossover to government

Dec 06, Colombo: More legislators of Sri Lanka’s main opposition United National Party (UNP) have expressed their willingness to join the government following the recent crossover by their colleague Colombo district parliamentarian Mohan Lal Grero, a government minister said.

The Chief Whip of the government, Minister Dinesh Gunawardena told media yesterday that another group of UNP MPs are considering to join the government due to the continuous downfall of the major opposition party.

A group of outspoken UNP parliamentarians including Puttalam district MP Range Bandara, Matale district MP Wasantha Aluwihare, Kalutara district MP Palitha Thewarapperuma and Hambantota district MP Dilip Wedaarachchi, has meanwhile planned to sit independently in the parliament, local media reports said.

UNP co-deputy leader, Sajith Premadasa, in a letter to deputy leader Karu Jayasuriya has pointed out that in the recent years 61 opposition MPs have crossed over to the UPFA government and some of them are holding powerful ministerial portfolios.

A devoted UNP loyalist, Colombo District parliamentarian Mohan Lal Grero crossed over to the government side last month after voting for the government’s Appropriation Bill.

Several key UNP members joined the government and the ruling party over the past few years. The most notable was the defection of 18 senior members of the UNP in early 2007. All of them presently hold key ministerial portfolios.

Six UNP parliamentarians, Abdul Carder, Upeksha Swarnamalee, Earl Gunasekara, Nilwala Wijesinghe, Lakshman Seneviratne, and Manusha Nanayakkara crossed over to the government side in September 2010.

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