COLOMBO, SinhalaNet 2007.11.21 04:43PM
It is understood that U.S. Ambassador Robert Blake had blamed Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and UNP strongman Ravi Karunayake for their failure to prevent the Government from passing the budget on Monday (Nov. 19) with a majority vote.
The ambassador at an earlier meeting with the two of them at Wickremesinghe's Cambridge Terrace residence had discussed the possibility of buying MPs to help the Opposition and promised assistance in the matter.
After the voting in Parliament an embassy staffer of the Political Section had phoned the U.S. envoy of the developments in the House.
Earlier the local press (without identifying the ambassador) reported 'highly placed sources' as saying that the Sri Lanka Government is contemplating tough action against him for assisting the Opposition to engineer defections from the government. According to this report the envoy had stayed at Wickremesinghe's (also not identified) residence as late as 2.00 a.m. and made a number of telephone calls to local politicians in the bid to entice a group of government MPs to cross over to the Opposition before the crucial vote in Parliament.