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Contradictory statements on polls loss by UNP MPs:

Disunity led to UNP loss - UPFA Gen Secy

The UPFA states that although the bitter factionalism of the UNP was a main reason for its defeat at the recent election, the UPFA on the contrary, was forging ahead in unity with several parties under President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s guidance to develop the country.

In a statement issued yesterday, UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha pointed out that as claimed by UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera the defeat of the UNP was due to factionalism and disunity within the party. “However, a fellow MP Akila Viraj Kariyawasam has held the view that the party’s defeat was due to threats and intimidation by the government,” Minister Premajayantha said.

This shows the contradictory statements made by two members of the same party, he said.

“Certain UNPers may ask themselves if Mangala Samaraweera should talk about disunity in the party only after he joined the UNP. A daily newspaper has carried the story that Sajith Premadasa is about to make a special statement regarding the future of the party. Even MP Rosy Senanayake has criticised the leader on the results of the election. All this show that as mentioned by Mangala Samaraweera it is disunity and factionalism in the party that has led to its defeat at this election,” he said.

The statement also referring to UNP’s claim that a large number of partymen kept away from the poll, pointed out that 60 percent of voters turned out at the poll and this was the traditional voting percentage at a Local Government election.

“Previously too when the UNP won the election, the same percentage had gone to the poll. Therefore, it is not logical to add that those who did not turn up as being members of the UNP,” Premajay

He said: “The UNP failed to win even a single local body and the JVP’s fate is known to all. The UPFA won 45 of the 65 local bodies that went to the poll and secured three local bodies in the Jaffna district.”

“There were instances where the UPFA polled 80 percent of the votes such as at Delft and the total amount of votes obtained by the UNP in the 16 local bodies in the Jaffna district is less than 4,000. In contrast the UPFA obtained 47,000 votes as against the 124,000 polled by the ITAK.” The statement adds that the ITAK was a traditional party in Jaffna while the votes obtained by the UPFA in Jaffna were new votes. The statement added: “The election in Jaffna was an exercise in cementing the democratic right of its people and with the development programmes planned for the years ahead, the vote base of the UPFA is bound to expand.”

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