Sackings were not a unilateral decision: Tissa

Wednesday, 19 June 2013 01:34 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • UNP Working Committee sacks seven PS members, two Provincial MPs

The UNP Working Committee decision to expel 11 party members on Monday was a result of the recommendations by a disciplinary committee that engaged in a lengthy and comprehensive process to determine if those individuals had acted in violation of party regulations, UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said yesterday.

Attanayake said that based on the recommendations of the committee that conducted a disciplinary inquiry into the attack on the party’s Sirikotha Headquarters in December 2011 and the decision by some party men to attend a rally in Hyde Park against a party directive, five Pradeshiya Sabha members and two Provincial Councillors had been sacked.

“There was a suggestion by Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa to give these members another chance but he was clear that they should be given another chance to explain and rectify themselves but if they do not, they should be expelled,” Attanayake said. The UNP General Secretary said that however it was the opinion of a majority of Working Committee members that since these two incidents had taken place in 2011 and 2012, the individuals concerned had been given ample time to make amends.

He said the Disciplinary Committee had provided the space for the individuals charge sheeted by the party for the two incidents to come forward and make conditional apologies and pledge to act responsibly and in ways that would not create internal issues within the UNP.

“It is clear that this space was provided because otherwise how was it that out of 18 against whom charges were brought for the Sirikotha attack, only seven were expelled? And out of 14 charged with attending the rally, only four were sacked? The others have attempted to rectify things,” Attanayake said.  “Instead these persons continued to stir up trouble for the party,” he charged.

The General Secretary said that in order to be reinstated, the sacked members would have to reapply for party membership and plead their case before the UNP Working Committee.

“So far we are seeing no moves in that direction,” he said.  Attanayake pledged that the expulsions were not a unilateral decision.

The UNP Working Committee which met on Monday sacked five Pradeshiya Sabha members and two Provincial Councillors; prominent members and attorneys-at-law, Maithree Gunaratne and Shiral Lakthilake over the attack on Sirikotha in December 2011. Anamaduwa PS members Anushka Priyashantha and Asela Premalal, Puttalam PS member Nimal Ekanayake and Kobeigane PS Member Wijitha Premalal were expelled from the UNP for attending the rally in Hyde Park in October flouting a party directive. (DB)