Feb 04,Colombo: Leader of Sri Lanka’s main opposition United National Party (UNP), Ranil Wickremasinghe faced a protest by party members when he visited Beruwala during a visit to the South.
Police personnel had to be deployed to protect Wickremasinghe from the protestors, mainly supporters of the pro-reformists in the party.
Wickremasinghe yesterday visited Beruwala on an invitation by several UNP members from the Beruwala Pradeshiya Sabha and met with party activists and businessmen in the area who had donated monies to be used for the renovations of the party headquarters, Sirikotha.
Party Secretary Tissa Attanayake and parliamentarians Lakshman Wijemanne, Palitha Thevarapperuma and Western Provincial Councilors Kithsiri Kahatapitiya and A.M. Yusuf had accompanied Wickremasinghe in his visit to Beruwela.
A group of UNP members had held a protest against Wickremasinghe outside the residence of UNP Beruwala Pradeshiya Sabha member Ifthikar Jameel when the UNP leader was to visit the house.
The protestors had criticized Wickremasinghe and had asked him to step down from the leadership.
However, Attanayake says that the protestors were chased away by other UNP members who had come to welcome Wickremasinghe and that efforts to sabotage the UNP Leader was therefore disrupted.