State Minister Diana Gamage Thursday threatened that if she loses her parliamentary seat on the grounds that she is not a Sri Lanka citizen, then all Samagi Jana Balawegaya MPs too would lose their seats.Participating in the final day debate on Budget 2023 in Parliament on Thursday, Gamage said that if she is not a citizen then the SJB registered by her stands null and void. When there is no SJB, there cannot be SJB MPs, she said.
“Remember without me 54 MPs in the opposition would not be eligible to hold their seats in parliament. Go to temples and pray for your seats because if I go down I go down with you all,” she declared.
Calling SJB and Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa a crook, she said: “I hear he is leading a ceremony to mark the second anniversary of the SJB. That is wrong. The original name of this party was Ape Jathika Peramuna which is 17 years old. It is Jalani Premadasa who coined this new name SJB which actually stands for Sajith Jalani Balawegaya rather then Samagi Jana Balawegaya. The party belongs to me. Therefore when the SJB members sling mud at me, they should keep in their minds that they are here today because of me,” Minister Gamage said.
Gamage was nominated to Parliament on the SJB national list and initially sat with that party until her crossover in 1971 and later took office under the SLPP. The question whether she held British citizenship at the time of her appointment to Parliament is under investigation.
On Friday she filed a petition at Colombo District Court claiming that Opposition Leader Premadasa and Ranjith Madduma Bandara holding office as leader and secretary of the SJB was against the constitution of that party. Accordingly, both Premadasa and Madduma Bandara were ordered by a Colombo District Court to appear in court on Jan 25.
Gamage had filed the petition thhrough President’s Counsel Uditha Egalahewa in the Colombo District Court claiming that Premadasa and Madduma Bandara continue to remain members of the United National Party.As evidence, Gamage had produced an affidavit from the General Secretary of the UNP in a judicial process that Ranjith Madduma Bandara had initiated to challenge disciplinary action against him by that party as evidence material to her petition.
She says that article 3 (3) of chapter 3 of the SJB constitution notes that if a party member holds membership of another party, he or she will lose the membership of the Samagi Jana Balavegaya.
She requests the court to deliver a ruling that both Sajith Premadasa, and Ranjith Madduma Bandara holding membership of the SJB, and holding the posts of Leader and General Secretary of the SJB, are illegal.Diana Gamage has also requested an order suspending those named from holding the said office until the determination of her petition is complete.