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Last updated: 28 March, 2008 - Published 18:07 GMT
 
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UNP warns of 'massive protests'
 
UNP parliamentarian Ravi Karunanayake
MP says it will be 'ridiculous' if parliament allows to violate its own legislations
The main opposition in Sri Lanka has warned of 'massive protests' if the executive president attempts to 'unlawfully appoint' a top parliamentary official.

The United National Party (UNP) urged President Mahinda Rajapaksa to re-activate the Constitutional Council (CC) before appointing a new Secretary General for the parliament.

The term of current Secretary General of the parliament, Priyani Wijesekara, ends on 31 March.

Parliament's Secretay General

The president should only make a new appointment based on a recommendation by the CC, according to the 17 amendment to Sri Lanka's constitution.

The CC is yet to be re-activated by the president though the minor parties in the parliament recently agreed to nominate former Auditor- General, CS Mayadunne, as their representative.

 Many countries such as Bangladesh and Pakistan are also eyeing for the GSP+. The government should focus on improving human rights than looking for scapegoats
 
UNP parliamentarian Ravi Karunanayake

UNP parliamentarian Ravi Karunanayake told BBC Sandeshaya that it will be 'ridiculous' if the parliament allows the president to violate its own legislations.

The UNP has no other option, he said, but to resort to massive protests against it president by passes the CC to appoint a new Secretary General for the parliament.

The former Commerce Minister of the UNP-led government added that it is the responsibility of the government to make sure that tax reliefs offered by the EU will be renewed for another term.

GSP+ scheme

Investment Promotion Minister GL Peiris earlier told journalists that 'interested parties' are working on a 'secret agenda' to discredit the government's record on human rights.

The Generalised System of Preferences plus-scheme (GSP+) is the ultimate target of those parties, Prof. Peiris added.

Mr. Karunanayake said it was he who negotiated the GSP+ with the EU as a 'reward' for the human rights and good governance record.

He admitted Prof. Peiris, who was minister of the then UNP-led administration, did play a role in securing the deal.

"Many countries such as Bangladesh and Pakistan are also eyeing for the GSP+. The government should focus on improving human rights than looking for scapegoats," Ravi Karunanayake told BBCSinhala.com.

 
 
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