Mustapha’s defection no big deal – govt.


 By Dasun Edirisinghe

Minister of Water Supply and Drainage Minister Dinesh Gunawardena addressing the media at the SLFP headquarters yesterday.
Pic by Jude Denzil Pathiraja.

Investment Promotion Deputy Minister Faizer Mustapha switching allegiance to common opposition presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena’s camp was no big surprise as it had been widely expected, Water Supply and Drainage Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said yesterday

"His joining Sirisena camp has been talked about for weeks. It is no surprise. It had also been reported in the media that Mustapha would announce it officially upon returning from Singapore. Nobody tried to prevent his defection because he is no political asset."

Addressing a press conference held at the SLFP headquarters in Colombo, Minister Gunawardena said that Mustapaha’s speciality was not politics.

He said it also once again proved that Singapore was the venue for conspiracies of Maithripala Sirisena’s camp as deputy minister Mustapha crossed over after visiting that country.

"Common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena is the only Cabinet minister who regularly flew to Singapore and Geneva during the last few years," Gunawardena said, adding that it proved the conspiracy to pick him as the Opposition presidential candidate had been hatched there.

Recalling SLFP General Secretary Bernard Aluwihara’s defection on the eve of the 1956 victory, Gunawardena said that every General Secretary of SLFP, who defected, had ended up in the losing side.

The minister said pro-LTTE‚ÄąTamil National Alliance and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress pledging their support to UNP led opposition camp was not a new thing either.

The UNP, the TNA and the SLMC had been together at the presidential elections of 2005 and 2010 and UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe had signed a sell-out agreement with the LTTE leader in February 2002, which fact had now been forgotten by those who talked about good governance, Gunawardena said.

He said SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem and the TNA still sought to merge the Northern and Eastern Provinces de-merged by the Supreme Court.

Gunawardena said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa had liberated the eastern Muslim people from the LTTE and launched massive development programmes in the North and the East, but the SLMC leader had left the government paying no heed to the President’s service to the Muslim community.

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