Karu seeks leadership vote to vote to unify UNP, make it a democratic opposition

Monday, 19 December 2011 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Highly-respected politician Karu Jayasuriya is seeking the office of UNP leadership to unify the party and make it a democratic opposition. This message has been conveyed in a message to fellow UNPers ahead of the election for the post of UNP leader today. Here are some excerpts.

As you are already aware, I have through a news release issued on 28 November announced my decision to contest the post of leader of the United National Party.

In that I have set out the reasons for doing so. I take pleasure in enclosing herewith a copy for your kind information.

Since then, a few issues encompass arisen. One is the claim that I have not given notice of my decision to contest. As is obvious, such notice, in accordance with our party’s constitution, could be given only when nominations are called for such elections. I propose to follow this procedure.

The other are frivolous accusations by those who claim to be senior members of the United National Party that I had given a written undertaking, when I re-joined, not to contest the post of leader. Neither was any such undertaking sought from me nor have I given one to anyone.

I need hardly comment on the credibility of those making these mischievous claims. Their jaunty attitudes, heaping praise on the UPFA Government sometimes and claiming hereditary rights to UNP leadership at other times is only two well known. Also well-known is where their loyalties lay. Their cheap gimmicks deserve no further comment.

Last Tuesday, my resolve to contest the UNP leadership was endorsed by the Maha NayakaThera of the Malwatte Chapter, the Most Venerable Thibotuwawe Sri SiddharathaSumangalaThera; Maha Nayake of the Asgiriya Chapter, Most Venerable Udugama Sri Buddha RakhiththaThera; Most Venerable Weweldeniya Medhalankara, Maha Nayake Thera of Ramanya Nikaya; Most Venerable Dauldena Gnanissara, Maha Nayake of the Amarapura Nikaya; Bishop of Kandy, Rt. Rev. Dr. Vianney Fernando, religious leaders of Muslim and Hindu communities.

My decision to contest the leadership of the UNP, it is unfortunate, has been portrayed as a personal encounter between me and Ranil Wickremesinghe.