UNP must decide whether SF is fit to be a minister: Elle Gunawansa Thera
Posted on September 8th, 2017

Kelum Bandara Courtesy The Daily Mirror

The Ven. Elle Gunawansa Thera, in response to a statement by Minister and Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka describing the monk as a ‘mad man in robes’ said yesterday the United National Party (UNP) should decide whether it should have such a person as a Cabinet minister any longer.

The monk said senior UNPers such as Gamini Dissanayake, Lalith Athulathmudali and R. Premadasa had visited his temple on several occasions.

Mr. Fonseka is a political reject. Only the UNP accommodated him and gave him a portfolio. The UNP should now decide whether it should risk its credibility by having such a person in the Cabinet. However, the people will decide,” he said.

In a way, slandering me has turned out to be a blessing in guise. I was able to realize the magnitude of affection people have towards me. Throngs of people from all walks of life are visiting me. All the former army commanders frequented my temple. Mr. Fonseka’s claim that war crimes took place has become a reason for jubilation by pro-LTTE groups operating overseas,” the monk said.

He said Mr. Fonseka’s harsh attitude towards him had forced him to appear on the political stage for the first time.

So, far I have not stepped on anyone’s political stage but I will do it for the time when the occasion arises,” he said.

One Response to “UNP must decide whether SF is fit to be a minister: Elle Gunawansa Thera”

  1. Vaisrawana Says:

    This report gives the reader an incomplete idea about what the venerable monk really is and what he is saying in reaction to the recent calumnious statements of Fonseka against him. The influential Ven. Elle Gunawanse Thera has always stood up for the unity, peace and development of the country and for the welfare of all communities without surrendering the interests of one community to those of another. But he is not afraid to champion the cause of safeguarding the legitimate rights of the majority Sinhalese Buddhists, and the Sinhalese Buddhist cultural heritage of the country, which is their one and only homeland. Over more than forty years all the important heads of government including presidents JR Jayawardane, R. Premadasa, and Mahinda Rajapaksa visited him in his temple and sought his advice on various occasions. But he didn’t hesitate to criticize them to them to their face, when he felt the need to do so. He helped the army during the separatist war by encouraging young men to join the army to defend the country against separatist terrorism, arranged for blood donations to help wounded soldiers, visited them in the battlefront, and in other ways. Although his work often relates to matters that naturally involve politics he has always stayed above party politics; he will not promote anybody’s party agendas unless they coincide with the aims of his service to the nation.

    “He said Mr. Fonseka’s harsh attitude towards him had forced him to appear on the political stage for the first time.”

    But what he actually said was: “Mr. Fonseka’s harsh attitude towards me could force me to appear on the political stage in the future. It would be the first time I’d do so. I never appeared on a political stage before”

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