Pushed into taking painful decision – Former General Secretary of the UNP and nominated member of Parliament Tissa Attanayake
Posted on December 9th, 2014

Former General Secretary of the UNP and nominated member of Parliament Tissa Attanayake

UNP Leader

Ranil Wickremesinghe,
No. 400, “Sirikotha”,
Kotte Road,

Dear Leader,

Former General Secretary of the UNP and nominated member of Parliament Tissa Attanayake who crossed over to the UPFA on Monday said that he had to take this painful decision because the common candidate Maithripala Sirisena is trying to ride to power on the back of UNP supporters and leave them stranded without fulfilling even one of the three conditions of the common agreement signed with the UNP.

In a letter addressed to UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, Attanayake giving reasons for this decision to part with the UNP said another reason was the damage caused to the UNP by the Malik-Ravi-Mangala clique and antagonisms and ill-treatment on their part towards him after he built Ranil-Sajith unity in the party.

Attanayake said although he was General Secretary of the UNP he had been completely ignored and sidelined in taking party decisions regarding the common opposition alliance. He said even party leader Ranil will understand that he (Attanayake) had been unwillingly pushed into taking this painful decision to leave the party.

Attanayake recalled in his letter that the UNP reached an agreement with common candidate Maithripala Sirisena under three conditions. First is that as soon as Sirisena becomes President he should hand over executive powers to the Prime Minister and the Cabinet of Ministers within 24 hours. The second is that Sirisena should be named common candidate after he brings 20 to 25 government members to the opposition. The third is that Sirisena and his group should give a guarantee that he would amend the constitution completely and abolish the Executive Presidency within 100 days of coming to power.

But unfortunately the Maithripala Sirisena party has not fulfilled any one of their promises up to now. Therefore he has a justifiable suspicion as to whether any justice and fairplay will be caused to the UNP or its supporters if Sirisena comes to power. In other words their plan is to win the Presidential election and then form a different party and kick out the UNP supporters. This is a very sorry situation which need not be emphasised over and over again.

Attanayake further said that after Sirisena joined the opposition he had not the courtesy or follow the tradition of meeting him in his capacity as the General Secretary because Sirisena is a puppet dancing to the tune of the Malik-Ravi-Mangala clique.

Eventhough he tried to forget these misgivings and continue his normal party work as General Secretary this clique did not give him room to do so. One of their conspiracies was to get thugs to hoot him at the party convention he organised on December 6. Furthermore this clique had been engaged in mud slinging by publishing through their websites that “Attanayake is on sale for Rs. 500 million.” Attanayake said he wished to emphasise that his conscience cannot be bought over for money.

It is not against him but against Karunanayake that there is a case regarding the flouting of exchange control regulations in cohorts with Raj Rajaratnam who has LTTE links. Furthermore it was Karunanayake who belittled the war victories achieved by our war heroes by dubbing Kilinochchi as Medawachchiya and Alimankada (Elephant Pass) as Pamankada.” Another conspiracy of Karunanayake is to get people faithful to him as electoral organisers as shown by his statement that organisers of electorates lost in the Presidential election should be replaced.”

Attanayake said certain electorates are not favourable to the UNP but each and every electoral organiser is important for the party.

Attanayake in his letter to Ranil Wickremesinghe also recalled that he started his political life 35 years ago in 1981 from the “Samajavadi Shishya Peramuna” when he was a student at the Kelaniya University. From then he functioned as its President from ‘Sirikotha’ – UNP Headquarters. From there he reached the position of Party General Secretary through an arduous journey with dedication, talent and skill without any favouration from anyone.

Ever since he was elected as a member of Parliament from the Kandy District in 1989 under the guidance of late President Ranasinghe Premadasa he has functioned as an active MP for the last 25 years. When the UNP won the 2001 General Election he functioned as Central Province Development Minister.

When the then government incarcerated him and restricted him to Bogambara Prison during the 2000 General Election he supervised the election campaign.

The “Janabala Meheyuma” march from Kandy to Colombo organised by late Gamini Athukorale was his concept which helped the party to capture power in 2001.

The power gained by the UNP in 2001 through such dedication and sacrifice was lost due to the foolish and short sighted activities of Ministers such as Dr. Rajitha Senaratne and Ravi Karunanayake.

Former Ministers Ananda Kularatne and Imthiaz Bakeer Markar would vouch for this. This episode was realistically explained by Media Personality Victor Ivan in one of his books. Attanayake said he took up office as Party General Secretary at a crucial time in 2006 when the party was in deep crisis and gripped with a defeatist mentality.

He is proud to have been able to strengthen the party once again by creating Ranil-Sajith unity according to a recommendation made by the Party’s strategic planning committee.

Although he can join party supporters in hailing the Ranil-Sajith unity there is a camp within the UNP which despised it. It is no secret that Ravi Karunanayake and Mangala Samaraweera are opposed to this Ranil-Rajitha unity.


Translated by

D. P. Wickramasinghe 

– See more at: http://www.dailynews.lk/?q=political/pushed-taking-painful-decision-tissa#sthash.8Kv9mI8T.dpuf

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