ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka's coalition government Monday suffered another setback with one of its lawmakers, Buddhist monk Athuraliye Ratana, claiming that he will remain an independent member of parliament.
The monk, a leading light of the JHU, or Jathika Hela Urumaya or Heritage Party, was nominated to parliament on the national list of the United National Party (UNP) as both worked to propel Maithripala Sirisena to power in 2015.
“I am not going to join any political party, I will remain an independent MP,” the monk told reporters in Colombo. “This is not against the government, but a move to pressure the government to correct course.”
The monk made it clear that he was unhappy with the work of the coalition government although he did not go into details.
A member of President Sirisena's faction of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), Priyankara Jayaratne, quit his deputy minister portfolio last month protesting the delay of local government elections. (COLOMBO, January 16, 2017)