UNP reformists plan satyagrahas to oust RanilSeptember 17, 2012, 10:10 pm
By Lal Gunesekera
In an attempt to force UNP leader Ranil Wickremasinghe and his Working Committee, yes men, the Movement to Protect the UNP and its Trade Unions has planned to conduct massive countrywide satyagrahas, with over 25,000 UNP supporters converging in Colombo itself soon, the Movement’s Secretary Lal Perera told a media briefing in Rajagiriya yesterday.
He said that until Wickremesinghe and his cronies in the Working Committee are ousted, the party could never be united.
The UNP that was given a new lease of life after the party’s debacle at the 1970 general elections, when its former leader the late J. R. Jayewardene helped the UNP to return to power in 1977 with a 4/5 majority. But that had now been ruined by Wickremesinghe, he said adding that the grand old party could never dream of returning to power until its leader was forced to resign.
Perera said when the party was commemorating the 106th birth anniversary of the late J.R. Jayewardene, which fell yesterday (17), the present leadership should have gone down memory lane and recalled how JRJ resuscitated the party from the doldrums to win the general elections in 1977 with a record majority. He said that the present leaders were incapable of rejuvenating the party to win any election.
Perera said that it was JRJ who introduced trade unionism to the UNP in 1959 by forming the Ceylon Employees’ Union and by 1977 the UNP had the strongest trade union movement, including the Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya (JSS) and its estate unions, which have now been ruined by persons of the calibre of Dr. Jayalath Jayawardene, Sirinilal de Mel, Velauthan etc.
Ranil Wickremesinghe, he said, would never have been the leader of the UNP, but for the unfortunate assassinations of Gamini Dissanayake, Lalith Athulathmudali and Ranasinghe Premadasa by Tiger terrorists. It would have been a different story if the trio were living, Perera asserted.
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Last Updated May 25 2013 | 03:45 pm