Written by Staff Writer
15 Sep, 2019 | 9:22 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st):- A meeting was held between the Deputy Leader of the United National Party Minister Sajith Premadasa and party leaders of member parties of the United National Front. The meeting that was held at the residence of Minister Mangala Samaraweera at 10.30 last night (September 14).
Political sources confirmed that the party leaders held a separate discussion before attending the meeting held at the residence of the Finance Minister. This meeting chaired by Minister Sajith Premadasa was attended by representatives of the United National Front including Rauff Hakeem, Mano Ganeshan, Patali Champika Ranawaka, P. Digambaran, and Rishad Bathiudeen. Ministers Mangala Samaraweera, Malik Samarawickrama and Eran Wickremerathne represented the United National Party at the meeting. The meeting lasted for close to two hours.
Following the meeting when Minister Sajith Premadasa was questioned if the final decision regarding the Presidential candidate was reached, he only said that it will be announced in the upcoming days.
Journalist: It is reported that Minister Ajith P. Perera and Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe were sent letters regarding a disciplinary inquiry?
The Minister assures the media and the people to not worry about that as he is the deputy leader of the party. He further said that all of the proposals that were presented by the group which held discussions was to develop the country. When the Minister was questioned on what is expected from him, he only said that no one is expecting anything of the sort from him and that none of them presented any conditions to him and assured the people that he is not one of those individuals that could be tied down by conditions.
The journalists also questioned the Minister on charges made by the Podujana Peramuna and the opposition that he is forming alliances with people like Rishad Bathiudeen, he said that as a whole that the SLPP is afraid of him contesting. He also says that what is more important when making a decision regarding the Presidential candidate is the preference of the peoples’ committee and not any other working committee.
Journalist: With you holding discussions with the TNA, the joint opposition is now alleging that Sajith Premadasa is attempting to implement a new program together with the TNA.
To this, the Minister responded that although anyone would make allegations that they cannot do so against the son of Ranasinghe Premadasa who is a person who sacrificed his life for the country. He added that there is no other person who can represent a unified state, ensure national security and territorial integrity as strongly as he can while also adding that he always works and talks straight without any deals.
However, Minister Mano Ganeshan tweeted that many important decisions were reached during the meeting that was held last night (September 14). Ministers and MPs from the United National Party expressed these views regarding the discussions that were held.
UNP MP Thushara Indunil says that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe asked them to confirm if the minority parties will also support Sajith Premadasa and report back to him. He continued to say that Sajith Premadasa’s faction held discussions with minority parties and their representatives and said that the leaders of the minority parties gave them such positive feedback. He continued to say that the leaders of the minority parties had confirmed to support Sajith Premadasa and he further said that once discussions with the TNA are concluded that Minister Sajith Premadasa is due to meet with the Prime Minister and added that in the coming few days that a good and positive decision will be made on behalf of the country.
Minister Lakshman Kiriella says that everyone only hoped for unity within the UNP and that in this aspect that the discussions have turned out to be successful. He continued to say that the working committee will convene very soon and reach a decision on this matter and assured the people that this will come to an end in another week to 10 days.
Also speaking about the discussions between the TNA and Minister Sajith Premadasa, Non-Cabinet Minister Ajith P. Perera said that discussions are being held with them, not with the intention of forming an alliance, but to get their support for Sajith Premadasa. He further said that due to the well-known disparities between the ideologies of the two parties that they have decided to not consist of them as a party within their alliance. He also said that they can only continue their discussions if the TNA is satisfied with the solutions in a unitary state with maximum devolution. He assured the people that the Sajith Premadasa will never under any circumstance agree to a federal system.
He also mentioned the fact that Rajitha Senaratne is a part of their alliance although he had not attended yesterday’s meeting. The Non-Cabinet Minister says that discussions will be held on a separate note with him (Minister Rajitha Senaratne) and Arjuna Ranatunga and added that they believe they will get their support as well.
Journalist: There are reports that the disciplinary committee and the party leadership are preparing to suspend you from the party?
To this, he replied that they have not been informed of any such thing in writing and that the process of providing such information to newspapers instead of letting them know personally shows how anomalous this process is. He added that he is quite sure that the people too will approve of their actions.
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