UNP support withdrawal blow to peace | india | Hindustan Times
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UNP support withdrawal blow to peace

The opposition party has decided to withdraw support to the Sri Lankan Govt, reports PK Balachandran.

india Updated: Jul 07, 2006 15:11 IST

The opposition United National Party's decision to withdraw support to the government led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa will hamper the peace process though it is no threat to the stability of the government.

Political observers said here on Friday that while the government does not need the support of the UNP to conduct normal legislative business, it will certainly need it to push the peace process forward through legislation.

Any constitutional change demanded by a settlement will have to have two-thirds majority in parliament, and this can be secured only with the support of the UNP.

And the peace process is key to national security and economic development.

On Thursday, the UNP decided to withdraw support following President Rajapaksa's move to induct a leading UNP MP, Susantha Punchinilame, as a Deputy Minister.

Punchinilame was sworn-in half an hour before President Rajapaksa was to meet the UNP chief, Ranil Wickremesinghe, to discuss critical national issues.

The President's move took Wickremesinghe and his party by surprise and they decided to withdraw support to the government "on all matters," chief opposition whip, Joseph Michael Perera, told Daily Mirror.