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Sri Lanka’s main opposition decides to conditionally support to new government

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ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s main opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) on Monday has decided to support the new government under Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe for its economic recovery, the party said.

However, the support was offered with a warning of withdrawal if the government tries accommodate defections from the SJB or connecting them to any policies agains the SJB principles.

“As a responsible political party, Samagi Jana Balawegaya believes saving the country from the current crisis is the utmost importance,” the SJB said in a statement.

“Accordingly, without taking any portfolio and on behalf of the betterment of the country, SJB in its parliamentary group discussion today decided to fully support the current government in its efforts on economic recovery.”

“However, if the government groups try to accommodate defections from SJB or connect SJB parliamentarians for activities that are against the SJB principles, the parliamentary group has decided to unconditionally withdraw this support.”

The SJB earlier declined to support Wickremesinghe government citing the new prime minister has no mandate to become the prime minister as he was a solo representative of his party.

Wickremesinghe wrote to SJB and the opposition leader Sajith Premadasa asking to support the new government to face the current economic crisis. Premadasa earlier had responded him saying that the party would support for “correct” policies.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa offered the prime minister post to Premadasa before offered to Wickremesinghe. However, Premadasa put forward four conditions including the resignation of the president.

Later, President Rajapaksa appointed Wickremesinge despite Premadasa agreed to take the offer with softened conditions.

Wickremesinghe needs parliament majority for sweeping economic, public sector, and tax reforms to deal with an International Monetary Fund loan programme in his economic recover plans. (Colombo/May16/2022)

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