UNP reformists see eye to eye with Ranil, say Tissa useless


by Dasun Edirisinghe

UNP reformist group yesterday saw eye to eye with their bete noire, UNP National Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, about the party General Secretary Tissa Attanayake’s defection. They said Attanayake was not a powerful politician and, therefore, could not be compared with former SLFP General Secretary and Opposition Presidential Candidate Maithripala Sirisena.

Addressing a media conference at Welikadawatte Road, Rajagiriya, former Southern Provincial Council member Maithree Gunaratne challenged the government to field Attanayake at a Pradeshiya Sabha election successfully.

"Attanayake was not fit to contest even a Pradeshiya Sabha election," Gunaratne said, adding that was why he had entered Parliament through the UNP National List last time.

Gunaratne said the government was boasting that they could get a General Secretary from another party though its General Secretary had decamped, but they could not compare Attanayake with Sirisena.

The former provincial councillor said that when Attanayake joined the government, UNPers in his Kundasale electorate had celebrated his defection by lighting firecrackers and that proved he had no vote base even in his own electorate.

Gunaratne claimed that Attanayake was responsible for all election setbacks the UNP had suffered for the past decade.

"Maithripala Sirisena is a clean politician with 47 years of experience in the SLFP," he said, challenging President Mahinda Rajapaksa to reveal files against Sirisena, if any.

Gunaratne asked UNPers to vote for Sirisena at the forthcoming presidential election as he had been accepted as the presidential candidate by all Opposition political parties.

Gunaratne said Sirisena’s victory was certain and no crossover could stop that.

Former Western Provincial Council member Shiral Lakthilaka also addressed the media.

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