|Thursday, 29 November 2001|
Sirisena Cooray refutes malicious insinuations
Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, former Member of Parliament and a candidate of the United National Party at the forthcoming Parliamentary elections, appeared on a private Television channel recently and made certain references to my wife and to me, which I consider false, baseless and malicious. Dr. Senaratne, purporting to be reading from a statement made by a person whose identity was not disclosed, announced that Somawansa Amarasinghe of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna is my brother-in-law (massina), and that some JVP funds were kept for safekeeping with my wife in a bank account and that a part of those funds was lost, says former Minister and UNP General Secretary Sirisena Cooray. He further says:
"Mr. Somawansa Amarasinghe is distantly related to me through my late brother, Mr. Nandisena Cooray, who was a long-standing UNP member and was the Deputy Mayor of Colombo at the time of his death. Mr. Somawansa Amarasinghe is one of the many brothers of the wife of the late Mr. Nandisena Cooray; he is not directly connected to my wife or to me as a massina.
"Dr. Senaratne's announcement over the television that JVP funds wee kept with my wife is totally false and unfounded. The most malicious is the insinuation that a part of this money was lost; an insinuation that my wife or I had played out this money. I have no doubt that such a statement has to be the work of a warped mind, whoever fabricated it. I regret that Dr. Senaratne, who claims to be a leading speaker on the UNP platform, and the Party's greatest defender in television appearances, did not bother to verify his facts, before making his so-called announcement over the media. Perhaps presenting falsehoods and twisting facts may be of a second nature to one who has flirted with pseudo-socialist and Marxist elements during his whole adult life, until as recently as 1994.
"To-day, the political scene has been invaded with fabrications, falsehoods and slander. Fabricated letters, statements and even audio and videotapes are commonly used to attack and insult political opponents. The UNP itself is a victim of such fabrications.
"Therefore, it is with regret that I note the antics of an UNP candidate sinking to this level. Dr. Senaratne should perhaps recollect that I served with distinction as a Minister, High Commissioner and Mayor of Colombo, under UNP Governments and served the Party to the best extent possible even at the worst of times, for over fifty years. Loyalty of this nature cannot be questioned, least of all by people like Dr. Senaratne, who have opportunistically moved from Party to Party in search of power and personal glory. He does not have the right to cast aspersions on me or any members of the Party, and it is because of people like him that the Party has been out of power for so long. I believe, that I speak for the silent majority of the Party, who are yearning for a return to the dignified and decent politics that the Party always stood for.
"The present Government brought me before a so-called Presidential Commission and accused me as a party to the killing of the late Mr. Lalith Athulathmudali. On my submission, the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka, dismissed these accusations as baseless and announced that there was no case even to hang a mouse. This same Government arrested me under emergency rules on a fabricated charge of conspiring to assassinate the President, and kept me in custody for months until the Supreme Court provided relief by discharging me and ordering the Government to pay me damages. I had to undergo all these indignities and abuses of power by the PA government because of my political affiliations as a UNP'er and not for any personal reason. But the likes of Dr. Senaratne, who performs eloquently on television on intrigues and conspiracies did not have the courage or the decency to utter a single word of protest about the gross abuse of rights of a fellow citizen, who served the UNP for long years, and for some time was it's General-Secretary".
Produced by Lake House