UNP attempts late fence mending exercises with SLFP, President


By Rathindra Kuruwita

United National Party (UNP) MPs yesterday struck a conciliatory tone in a bid to win over President Maithripala Sirisena and the SLFP vis-a-vis the no-faith motion against Prime Minister and UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe.

UNP Gampaha District MP and UNP National Youth Front Chairman Kavinda Jayawardana told the media yesterday the UNP had fully backed Sirisena’s presidential candidature while the SLFP went all out to defeat him and therefore he would back the beleaguered PM.

MP Jayawardena however echoed some of his seniors when he said that minsters and government MPs who would support the no- confidence motion should resign from their posts before it was put to the vote on April 04.

"This no-confidence motion is not only against the Prime Minister. It is also against the entire government. Ultimately, it’s against the President as well. So, I think it is time for everyone who believes in the concept of yahapalanaya to stand by the Prime Minister.".

Jayawardana added that the SLFP had not hitherto officially declared its stance on the no-confidence motion though several SLFP MPs had stated that they would support it. On Tuesday, Minister SB Dissanayake stressed that PM Wickremesinghe’s complicity in treasury bond scams couldn’t be ignored. The minister also referred to the Presidential Commission of Inquiry report on the treasury bond scams while pointing out that Wickremesinghe pressed for the appointment of Singaporean Arjuna Mahendran as the Governor of the Central Bank in January 2015.

MP Hirunika Premachandra, who also addressed the press conference, however said that the SLFP had increasingly proven to be an unreliable ally. She pointed out that during the recent election of the chairperson for Dehiwela- Mt Lavinia Municipal Council; the SLFP councillors had, at the eleventh hour, reneged on their promise to back the UNP.

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