- Issues Ultimatum After Rosy’s Letter
Newly appointed Co Deputy Leader of the UNP, Sajith Premadasa has threatened to quit from posts held by him in the party and the Working Committee if the party’s Advisory Committee that is to meet on May 2 fails to do justice to the pro-reform-members of the party.
The party’s Advisory Committee is to decide on the new Working Committee members on the 2nd and Premadasa says that he would resign if the party leadership fails to appoint the party parliamentarians and several other senior members of the former Working Committee to the new Working Committee.
Premadasa and his supporters believe that party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was acting in contravention to the agreements reached.
According to the new party’s constitution, the office bearers including the National Organiser and the new Working Committee had to be appointed by the interim Working Committee.
Wickremesinghe has manipulated his way in the party to push the appointment of the National Organiser to the new Working Committee that is to meet on May 3rd.
Premadasa’s view is that there is no reason to appoint members who have not been accepted by the party membership into the Working Committee. Wickremesinghe has appointed several party members who have been defeated at the elections to the new Working Committee.
While the new Working Committee is to appoint the National Organiser, the senior members who proposed and seconded the name of parliamentarian Ranjith Madduma Bandara to the post of National Organiser have not been included in the new Working Committee.
Wickremesinghe on the other hand has openly expressed his desire to appoint parliamentarian Ravi Karunanayake to the post of National Organiser.
Although Karunanayake’s name has not been proposed to the post, Wickremesinghe has told several senior party members that he had assured Karunanayake the post.
It is in this backdrop that Premadasa has threatened to quit from all posts saying he would go among the party membership to seek justice to the party.
He has said that all parliamentarians of the UNP and members of the pro-reforms group in the former Working Committee should be appointed to the new Working Committee.
Premadasa has charged that a single person had dissolved the interim Working Committee of the UNP and threatened to make public the issues of those who are raising a voice within the party.
Meanwhile, parliamentarian Rosy Senanayake has in writing requested Premadasa to stand by the members who had fought for the implementation for party reforms and ensure that justice is done to them.
Senanayake has stated that the party leadership was on witch-hunt against the pro-reforms members and those who supported Premadasa.
She has asked Premadasa to obtain a guarantee from the party leadership ensuring their rights would be safeguarded.
After receiving the letter, Premadasa has decided to take a firm stance in order to prevent the witch-hunt against the pro-reforms members.
Mervyn All Set To Play ‘The King’
Public Relations and Public Affairs Minister Mervyn Silva has said he was all geared to take up his latest role – the role of King Dutugemunu in a new film.
Silva has said he was ready to do justice to King Dutugemunu through his acting.
Mervyn, according to the state media, has made the pledge while participating in the ‘Muhurath’ (inauguration) ceremony of the movie, Surangana Lovin Avilla.
The inauguration ceremony had been held by the Beira Lake in Colombo.
According to media reports, Silva is to play the role of King Dutugemunu in this film where little children come to learn from his experiences.
Silva it is learnt, is rehearsing hard before going in front of the camera. The film starring Silva is to be shot on location in Padukka, Sigiriya and Bandaragama areas.
Tissa’s IPU Saga
The truth behind the saga of UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake’s visit to Panama to attend the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) has now come to light.
The IPU’s decision to refuse Attanayake entry into the Union’s annual sessions was given much publicity in the state media. The media reported that Attanayake was refused entry into the conference since he did not have an official invitation.
However, it is now learnt that Attanayake had attended the IPU sessions after receiving a letter from the IPU.
Parliamentarians Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena and Chandrani Bandara represented the UNP. The newly appointed deputy general secretary of the UNP, Jayawardena had asked Attanayake also to attend the sessions.
Attanayake had refused saying he did not have an official invitation to attend the sessions as a member of the Sri Lankan delegation.
Jayawardena had said he could sort out a special arrangement and had requested the IPU Secretary General to permit Attanayake to attend the sessions as an observer.
The IPU had obliged and had sent a letter to Attanayake. Once the letter permitting Attanayake to attend the sessions was received, he too had joined the delegation that had left for Panama.
Nevertheless, several parliament officials had warned that Attanayake might not be able to attend the conference although he was traveling to Panama.
When Attanayake had entered the conference hall the head of the Sri Lankan delegation, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva had informed the organisers of the event that the UNP General Secretary was not an official invitee.
The IPU had then requested Attanayake to move out of the conference hall.
Soon after Attanayake had left the conference hall, members of the government delegation had called the local state media institutions and had informed them of the incident.
De Silva had later informed Attanayake that he had to inform the IPU of Attanayake’s presence in the venue, as he had received orders to the effect from a higher office.
Be that as it may, a majority of the UNP members believe that the incident related to Attanayake is part of a plan by a section of the party who are trying to get him removed from the post of General Secretary.
Soon after the news was made public by the state media, Parliamentarian Palitha Range Bandara made statements to the media calling on the party leadership to take disciplinary action against Attanayake for bringing disgrace to the party.
Bandara has insinuated that Attanayake had visited Panama for personal reasons and had tried to force himself into an event that he was not officially invited to attend.
Several UNP members including several senior members are attempting to initiate legal action against Attanayake and remove him from the post in order to create a vacancy in the party to appoint one of party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe’s loyalists to the post.