Monks wanted to unite UNP, not chase Ranil away - Tissa

By Zacki Jabbar

The United Bhikkhu Front’s (UBF) solution to resolving the differences of opinion in the UNP, was not to chase Ranil Wickremesinghe away, the General Secretary of party, Tissa Attanayake MP, said yesterday.

He told the first press conference after the formation of the UNP leadership Council (LC), chaired by Karu Jayasuriya, MP, at Sirikotha that the UBF had submitted an eight-point solution aimed at achieving an inclusive solution to unite the various factions.

Sajith Premadasa had been included in the LC with a view to accommodating divergent views and ideas to enable the UNP to win future elections.

But, instead of working towards achieving the eight-point formula that had been agreed on, at talks between Wickremesinghe, Jayasuriya and him, Premadasa had, at the eleventh hour, submitted a further three-point formula, which could be described as an attempt to sabotage the progress that had been achieved, MP Attanayake said.

The UNP General Secretary said that the establishment of the LC had unanimously approved by the Working Committee and it was the duty of all members to assist in making it work.

Karu Jayasuriya said that there had already been a favourable response to the LC, especially from the grassroots level, which should be built on. His appointment as Chairman, despite having challenged the leadership had proved that the UNP was a democratic party, he said. "I have never canvassed for a position. I joined the UNP on invitation and also accepted the post of LC Chairman on invitation," Jayasuriya said, adding that all should bury the hatchet and do their utmost to bring back the golden era of development and prosperity witnessed under past UNP governments.

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