Cess row: JHU asks UNP to oust Rathana Thera


By shamindra ferdinando

In the continuing fallout between the Jathika Hela Urumaya and its erstwhile stalwart, Ven. Aturaliya Rathana Thera, the former has urged the UNP to take disciplinary action against the latter over his criticism of the 2017 Budget proposal to do away with the import Cess on some 100 imported items. Rathana Thera alleged that the Cess had been in place to protect local industry and, therefore, its removal amounted to an anti-national act.

Co-chairman of Jathika Hela Urumaya Ven. Heddigalle Wimalasara yesterday told The Island that they had taken certain measures in response to what he called Ven. Aturuliya Rathana’s misconduct.

Ven. Wimalasara said that they had informed UNP Chairman Kabir Hashim of their decision in respect of Ven. Rathana.

Ven. Wimalasara said that the JHU recommended action to the UNP after Ven. Aturuliya declared his intention in January this year to function as an independent MP.The monk said that the UNP could not afford to ignore Ven. Rathana’s challenge. If they failed to discipline those who had been elected and appointed on the UNP ticket, there could be further problems.

Political parties should not appease any individual or group within the party, the monk said, underscoring the need to ensure parliamentary group worked towards achieving common objectives.


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