ECONOMYNEXT – With the exodus of a sizable faction of the party hierarchy, Sri Lanka’s main opposition United National Party (UNP) has been cleansed of its extremist, anti-Buddhist elements, former UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake said.
“The UNP is now completely clean of any allegations of speaking against Buddhism, of speaking for extremists and of standing up only for the minorities,” Karunanayake told reporters this morning.
The UNP’s behaviour over the last two months has amply displayed its maturity as a party, he added.
Those who point fingers at the UNP should point their fingers back at themselves, said the ex MP, as the people remember very well who was in charge of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs when a fraud allegedly took place centred around the Central Cultural Fund.
Karunanayake further said that the previous UNP government’s closeness to former President Maithripala Sirisena was what created problems within the party.
“There were no gains made. Only problems were created,” he said.
“The UNP is an old party that was created by D S Senanayake, Dudely Senanayake and J R Jayawardene. It is our inheritance to protect. If [party leader] Ranil Wickremesinghe had not been lenient with the dissenters and controlled the party with a tight fist, those problems would not have arisen,” he added. (Colombo/May25/2020)