Tissa claims secret pact between Ranil-Maithripala

Tuesday, 23 December 2014 01:38 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • UNP issues immediate denial of document publicised by former General Secretary
  • Alleged ‘pact’ contains supposed agreements to dismantle HSZs, grant concessions to Tamils
  • Opposition writes to Polls Chief with copy of false document
  • Falsifying signatures is a crime: Mangala

As the election season hots up attempts by new Health Minister Tissa Attanayake to allege a secret deal between the UNP and Common Candidate Maithripala Sirisena was strongly denied by the main opposition party. Attanayake, who held a press briefing in Colombo yesterday, released a document he claimed was a secret pact between UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and Sirisena, dated 1 November 2014.   The ‘pact’ contains a series of commitments including the appointment of former Treasury Secretary Charitha Ratwatte presidential secretary, the awarding of 20 key cabinet portfolios to the UNP and a host of concessions to the Tamil community including the promise to dismantle high security zones in the Northern Province. Sirisena’s Co-Campaign Spokesperson and UNP Communications Director Mangala Samaraweera told the media at Sirikotha yesterday that the pact was a forgery and contained only falsehoods.   He charged that the ‘forgers’ had superimposed Ranil Wickremesinghe’s English signature on a document penned in Sinhalese, which the UNP Leader would never do. “On the 1st of November Maithripala Sirisena was not the common opposition candidate. And he never signs his name as such even now,” Samaraweera charged. He said falsifying signatures was a grave crime in the country.   The inclusion of the clause that Wickremesinghe would be made prime minister within 24 hours of Sirisena’s election proves who had authored the forgery, Samaraweera observed. “Only one person in the UNP ever talked of this 24 hour transfer of power - and that was Tissa Attanayake. Now we know that it was on the orders received by Temple Trees that he made this statement, in a tearing hurry and with no prior leave from his party to do so,” he added.   Attanayake’s successor as General Secretary Kabir Hashim said a complaint had already been dispatched to Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya about the dissemination of false documents with forged signatures. “This is only indicative of the Government’s complete bankruptcy in the face of its impending defeat,” Hashim asserted. (DB)