THONDAMAN DEFEATED (98 Dec 16)
The government's votes allocated for the expenditure of the Ministry of Livestock Development and Estate Infrastructure were defeated in the parliament on Friday the eleventh, during the committee stage of the budget debate.
While Mr. Thondaman was making his winding up speech Mr. Susil Monesinghe moved an ammendment to the efffect that no land or property on which the government has spent money or intended to spend money should be alienated or disposed of , unless a cabinet tender board has approved such alienation. The deputy chairman overruled the ammendment and the UNP decided to vote against the allocation of money to Mr. Thondaman's ministry. The votes allocated to his ministry were defeated as most of the government MP's were not in the chamber at that time.
It is a good sign that at least some MP's in the opposition as well as the government have taken a collective decision to defeat Mr. Thondaman, who claims that he is the kingmaker. Mr. Thondaman does not have that much of support in the estate areas but he has been able to hoodwink both the UNP and the PA by pretending that the Tamils in the estate areas vote as he wish during the elections. Whether he has support or not in the estate areas the UNP and the PA should not go after the votes of Mr. Thondaman and it is hoped that the leaders of the UNP and the PA will follow the footsteps of the backbenchers who defated Mr. Thondaman in the parliament.