Jumbo mumbo: Mangala questions Sajith’s party loyalty

Thursday, 3 October 2013 00:51 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

As battles rage in the main Opposition, UNP Communications Director Mangala Samaraweera yesterday said Sajith Premadasa had been proposed as southern chief ministerial candidate because of his popularity in the region and questioned the younger MP’s loyalty to the party after he rejected the request. Samaraweera said that Premadasa’s name had been proposed at the UNP Matara District Working Committee meeting in good faith. “Sajith Premadasa is said to be wildly popular in the south. I don’t believe that, but if he contests and wins that election, then he can prove even people like me wrong,” Samaraweera said. If they are politically intuitive and strategic, a person who is intent on becoming a political leader would not let go of such an opportunity when it presents itself, he said. Premadasa has rejected calls for him to contest the southern polls claiming it is an attempt by party members to destroy his political career. He charged that anyone in the party should be willing to put their necks on the line and take up challenges on behalf of the UNP. “I don’t go around saying I am very popular in the south, but I am certain that even if I take up the challenge to contest as chief minister, I will be able to increase the number of votes for the UNP and even win the Matara electorate,” he said. The UNP MP said that he saw no reason to change the leadership in the UNP, although reform was necessary and likely before the end of the year. (DB)