The Speaker announced today (3rd) that R Sampanthan of TNA will be regarded Opposition Leader of the 8th Parliament as the proceedings commenced at 9.30 this morning.
The TNA said earlier that the Opposition leadership must be offered to them.
However MP Vimal Weerawansa objected to the leadership of the opposition not being offered to the SLFP.
The MP was expressing his views about the letter directed to the President endorsed by 56 MPs of the SLFP to the effect that MP Kumara Welgama must be appointed as Opposition Leader. A heated exchange followed and the Speaker, Prime Minister and Council Leader intervened.
The Prime Minister pointed out that since the letter was directed to the Chairman of the party a decision regarding that should have been taken yesterday at the 64th Anniversary of SLFP. The PM emphasized that it is not proper to utter absurdities instead of informing the Speaker about such a recommendation.
Honorable Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said that a letter to such an effect has not yet reached him.
However Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said that an explanation regarding the process used for selection of the Opposition Leader will be made at a later time.