En minister og en viceminister i præsident Kumaratungas koalitionsregering indgav torsdag deres afskedsbegæring. Ministrene, Muthu Sivalingam, medlem af parlamentet, og M.S. Sellasamy tilhører ‘Ceylon Arbejdernes Kongres’ (CWC), en vigtig koalitions-partner i præsident Kumaratungas regering, der repræsenterer arbejdere i Sri Lanka’s store plantage-sektor.

Minister for plantager, infrastruktur og samfundsudvikling, Muthu Sivalingham, og hans viceminister , S.Sellasamy, fra ‘Ceylon Arbejdernes Kongres’(CWC), indgav torsdag aften deres afskedsbegæringer til premierminister Mahinda Rajapakse i protest mod den fortsatte ignorerende holdning fra regeringens ledelse over for deres klager, udtalte partikilder

.

Ministrene sagde, at de trak sig tilbage på grund af uoverensstemmelser med det regerende parti om et omstridt vandkraftprojekt i Øvre Kotmale området i øens centrale provins, arbejdsløshed blandt statsansatte te- og gummiarbejdere samt diskrimination inden for uddannelsessektoren.

Ifølge kilder overgav premierminister Rajapakse øjeblikkelig afskedsbegæringerne fra CWC-ministeren til præsident Chandrika Kumaratunga og diskuterede længe den forværrede krise inden for den ledende marxiststøttede koalition.

Som forklaring på denne pludselige beslutning sagde et ledende medlem af CWC, at CWC, til trods for, at de var vigtige medlemmer af den regerende koalition, var ude af stand til at udføre deres pligter over for befolkningen i plantagesektoren og afhjælpe deres daglige klager.

Regeringsbeslutningen om at gå videre med vandkraftprojektet i Øvre Kotmale samt politiets voksende forulempelser i plantage-sektoren var en af mange grunde til tilbagetrædelsen.

CWC gav sin otte-medlemmers støtte til ‘De Forenede Folks Friheds Alliance’ (UPFA)’s regering i september sidste år, et skridt, der ændrede den daværende mindretals-regering til en regering med absolut majoritet i parlamentet, der har i alt 225 pladser.

UPFA vandt valget d.5.april med 105 pladser, deriblandt 39 fra Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP). Men de har i øjeblikket støtte gennem en enkelt plads fra ‘Eelam Folket’s Demokratiske Parti’(EPDP), tre medlemmer, der har brudt med ‘Den Srilankanske Muslimske Kongres’(SLMC), otte medlemmer fra CWC og desuden den nylige støtte fra UNP-medlem Rohitha Bogollagama, altså i alt 118 pladser.

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