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Time for UNP leader to step down - UNP (D) Group



Sports and Public Recreation Minister Gamini Lokuge

COLOMBO: It is time for the Opposition and UNP leader to step down from the leadership giving the opportunity to a person competent to lead the party. The people of Seruwila and Ampara electorates have clearly given this message to him by defeating the UNP by the highest number of votes recorded in history, Sports and Public Recreation Minister Gamini Lokuge said.

Minister Lokuge said the United National Party's Democratic Group request him to step down and hand over the party leadership to a person who has the consent of the majority of the party members.

The historical vote base of the UNP has been destroyed in Ampara. The party has become a property of rich persons. No ordinary person will be able to contest from the UNP hereafter because the party has introduced a system that operates only on money.

This is how Daya Gamage who has no political experience became the chief organiser and Chandradasa Galappaththi who has political experience of many years did not get the post," he said.

Minister Lokuge pointed out that the present leader of the UNP has put the party in a great difficulty and was singing the usual tune of "carrying arms, rigging election, corrupt election" to keep the party members intact and protect his position.

"He is planning to protest at the Maradana Railway station. The UNP-D Group request him to step down without degrading the UNP."

"The UNP leader should not forget the past to gain advantages for the moment. It was the UNP regime including the present UNP leader which enabled Minister Douglas Devananda to keep personal armed security squad and allowed carry arms with them," he said.

"That is how he came into democratic politics and saved his life. Today he is alive because of his security. But his consultant has been killed. At that time the SLFP demanded then Government to disarm Devananda.

This is the same when it comes to Pilleyan and the present Government is doing exactly what the UNP did in the past, the Minister stressed.

According to Minister Lokuge it is President Mahinda Rajapaksa who has gone to the greatest length to solve the ethnic problem.

"All past Sri Lankan leaders worked to a certain extent to solve the problem but none could do it.

But today the people of East have given their consent and approved the two way strategy of the President to solve the ethnic problem that is eradicating terrorism through war and addressing the problems of the Tamil community through a political solution.

The UNP-D Group is supporting this strategy and aim. Public Administration Minister Karu Jayasuriya worked hard to establish civil institutions in the East," he said. The UNP and the SLMC has two entirely different stands over re-merging the North and East.

But they never told their stand to the people. The UNP is for re-merging the two provinces and the SLMC is against it. But both parties kept quiet and avoided their supporters when it came to this issue, Lokuge said.

"They never said what they were going to do after the election. But the UNP-D Group very clearly stated their stand and promised the people not to re-merge the two provinces because no one living in the East wanted it.

If the UNP contested alone it would have gained the opportunity to bargain," he said.

 

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