Protest against suspension of members of Sri Lanka opposition party

Oct 14, Colombo: Supporters of Sri Lanka’s main opposition United National Party staged a protest on Friday in front of the Sirikotha party headquarters against the party’s decision to suspend the UNP parliamentarian Buddhika Pathirana provincial councilor Shiral Lakthilleka from the party membership.

The protesters agitated against the party leadership of Ranil Wickremasinghe and appointing Ravi Karunanayake to the national organizer post saying that the membership of Pathirana and Lakthilleka was suspended in a dictatorial manner when the party secretary has gone abroad.

The two members are alleged of supporting independent groups that appeared as genuine UNP members in Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte and Matara Municipal Councils respectively. They are also accused of failing to support the party teams that contested in their respective areas.

Secretary of the UNP Kotte Bala Mandalaya Mahesh Mangala has said that similar agitations will be conducted throughout the island, the state-run radio SLBC reported.
He added that the UNP was subjected to an enormous defeat in many local government institutions including Kotte as a result of stubborn decisions of the party leadership.

“Both these people’s representatives have acted tirelessly at all time to ensure victory to the United National Party,” party’s co-deputy leader Sajith Premadasa has said.

In a phone interview to News First, Premadasa said that although he was a deputy leader, he was not consulted at all by any manner on the decision to suspend the long-time party members.

At the recent elections held last Saturday (08) for 23 local government bodies, the UNP managed to win only the Colombo Municipal Council which has been its stronghold for over 55 years. However the UNP only secured 24 seats and failed to win a clear majority in the 53-member Council.

The ruling party wont 21 out of the 23 local government bodies polled and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress secured one, Kalmunai MC.

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