A total of 44 MPs, from both ruling and opposition parties, were absent at the parliamentary vote last evening (21) on the draft 22nd amendment to the constitution.
The amendment was passed with 179 votes in favour and only Sarath Weerasekara opposed.
Twenty-seven government MPs who were absent at the vote included Mahinda Rajapaksa, Sanath Nishantha, Gamini Lokuge, Pavithra Wanniarachchi, Sagara Kariyawasam, Jayantha Ketagoda, Prof. Ranjith Bandara, Sanjeewa Edirimanna, Ashoka Priyantha, Wimalaweera Dissanayake, Sahan Pradeep Withana, Jayantha Weerasinghe, Janaka Bandara Tennakoon, S.M. Chandrasena, Johnston Fernando and Nalaka Bandara Kottegoda.
Also not present were Prasanna Ranatunga, Mahinda Amaraweera, Premitha Bandara Tennakoon, Siripala Gamlath, Dr. Sita Arambepola, Rohitha Abeygunawardena, Dhammika Perera, S.M.M. Musharaf, Pradeep Undugoda, Anuradha Jayaratne and Nipuna Ranawaka as they were not in the country.
Independent MPs who were absent included Prof. G.L. Peiris, Dr. Upul Galapaththi, Angajan Ramanathan, Shan Wijayalal de Silva and Prof. Tissa Vitarana.
Opposition MPs who were absent at the vote included R. Sampanthan, Abdul Haleem, Vadivel Suresh, Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam, S. Kajendran, Hector Appuhamy, Velu Kumar, S.M. Marikkar, Hesha Vithanage, Shanakiyan Rasamanickam and T. Kaleiarasan.