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  News

UNP to oppose stripping CBK's civic rights on principle

The UNP has decided to oppose any move to deprive former President Chandrika Kumaratunga of her civic rights through parliament on a matter of principle.

The decision to oppose moves to strip Kumaratunga of her civic rights was taken at a discussion of the party's political affairs committee last week.

The Sunday Leader learns the issue was mooted by Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe on the basis of a principle established in 1998.It is learned, UNP MPs Lakshman Seneviratne and Ravi Karunanayake had said the party should not defend Kumaratunga but the principle established in 1998 with which the committee had agreed.

Wickremesinghe had told the committee that in 1998, when the PA Government introduced a motion to nullify the civic disability imposed on former Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike, the then President, Chandrika Kumaratunga had given an assurance that the Special Presidential Commission law will not be used in the future to deprive a person of his or her civic rights and based on that principle the UNP did not oppose the motion.

The UNP Leader pointed out that President Mahinda Rajapakse as a minister of the PA Government also supported that motion in parliament.

"It is that principle we want upheld and did not participate in the debate on Mrs. Bandaranaike's motion and state our case. But if the President wants to now go back on that accepted principle, then we must have the right to place in parliament the issues that led to his former leader, Sirimavo Bandaranaike's civic rights as well in the same debate," Wickremesinghe said.

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