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POSTED AT 01:31 PM 12-03-2019

JVP and ITAK hold talks on unifying main parties

JVP says even though 20A before Parliament, people should be allowed to decide on Executive Presidency abolishment

TNA leader R. Sampanthan makes a point during talks with JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake yesterday

Opposition lawmakers of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) met yesterday to look at how to bring the two main political parties together on crucial issues including the abolishment of the Executive Presidency.

During the meeting, the JVP and the ITAK have also discussed the path to abolishing of the much-debated Executive Presidency. Speaking to the Daily FT, the Opposition Lawmaker Anura Kumara Dissanayake held that even though the JVP has presented the 20th Amendment to Parliament, the public should be allowed to take the decision on whether the post should be abolished.

“The Parliament should not decide it. It should be decided by five million voters. The 225 members should not get involved in this but a referendum should be held. We requested the ITAK to support this worthy cause. They are also holding the same position and wants the Executive Presidency abolished,” he said.

According to the JVP leader, the discussions touched upon the necessity to widen the public involvement in governing the country. “Both main political parties are corrupt and deteriorated. They are unable to take this country at least an inch forward. We came to an agreement with the ITAK to work together on certain matters and areas, which we are also confident and poses the same standing,” he explained.

Agreeing to work with the JVP for a common goal, ITAK leader Rajavarothiam Sampanthan held the discussions were fruitful. “We explored the way to join hands in areas both can work together. We also discussed the political future of the country. Recently, we met the Prime Minister and the President. We discussed the devolution of power with them. We shared the details of that discussion with the members of the JVP who met us today. We need to realign the two main political parties to develop the country. So for this, we will work with the JVP,” explained the MP Sampanthan.

Ashwin Hemmathagama  - Our Lobby Correspondent