Tourism Minister Anura Bandaranaike -- who recently lambasted SLFP General Secretary Maitripala Sirisena for reportedly failing to invite his sister to a party convention -- last week slated `creatures of her own making` for now ill-treating the former president.
He also reiterated that he will not attend the September 1 event as a sign of protest.
`I really don`t know why she`s being treated like this,` he said in a telephone interview on Wednesday night. `If not for her, none of them would ever have sat on a cabinet seat.`
Meanwhile, Minister Sirisena implied in a separate interview that Bandaranaike may have got his knickers in a twist. `The invitation was hand delivered to he r (Chandrika Kumara-tunga`s) BMICH office on August 19,` he said. `They have not opened their letters. The person taking the invitation signed the register after accepting it.`
Asked whether there was a possibility of Kumaratunga being offered a prominent role in either party or national politics, Sirisena replied: `She can play any role she wants. First, however, she must come back. She can`t do much if she`s not here.`
Questioned whether there were attempts by the party leadership to `undercut` the former president, he said: `It was Anura Bandaranaike who undercut her during his time with the United National Party. We protected her and the party that was built up by her father and mother.`
In a scathing letter to Sirisena earlier last week, Anura Bandaranaiake accused the SLFP general secretary of `despicable and diabolical` behaviour in not inviting his sister to the annual convention.
In his interview, Bandaranaike (who is currently in Nepal) said Kumaratunga would return to Sri Lanka in September, spend three months here and go back to England in order to organise her daughter`s wedding.
The nuptials are due to take place next year.
He also stressed that, up to the night of August 20, no invitation had been received either in Colombo or in London. He said that, as sole SLFP patron, she should have been invited immediately after President Mahinda Rajapakse. `She didn`t know there was a convention to start with, till I told her,` he continued.
`She has done so much for them,` he said, clearly incensed. `I don`t know for what bizarre reason they are doing this to her`85 creatures of her own making. I don`t know what the reaction in Colombo is but the party treatment of her is not going down well in the villages.
`I`m not saying this because she`s my sister, but she is still the biggest crowd puller in the SLFP and probably in the country`85 a real asset on a public platform.`
Bandaranaike said that his family was trying to push Kumaratunga into taking `some kind of role in Sri Lankan politics`85 like an elder stateswoman`. However, she was now `totally, totally disgusted with politics and has lost all faith in human nature`.
Asked about voices within the SLFP that are beginning to speak up on behalf of Chandrika Kumaratunga, Bandaranaike said: `The thing now is that a lot of people are scared to talk`85 there is a new administration, a new president. A large number of them are a little nervous to voice their opinion.`
As for himself, he declared: `I`m not bothered either way. I don`t give a hoot.`
When questioned whether he thought President Mahinda Rajapakse was behind alleged efforts to undermine or freeze out his sister, Bandaranaike said he didn`t think so. `In fairness to him, he`s not a vicious person like that,` he asserted. `He was everything to her. My mother didn`t even make him a deputy minister. Chandrika made him a minister and a presidential candidate. She could have sidelined him and pushed me through.`
`I don`t think Mahinda would be ungrateful. I don`t know about other people around him. It`s up to him, as leader of the party and president of the country, to stop the witch-hunting. He has got everything he wanted. She gave him everything he wanted. I re-emphasise that. It`s up to him to reciprocate in some decent, sensible manner.`
Kumaratunga was finally living an ordinary life, Bandaranaike also said. `She gets into a pair of jeans, puts on her cap and Nike shoes, takes a bus to Selfridges and minds her own business,` he related. `She is enjoying herself, going to the cinema and all that. She says nothing, does nothing and gets blasted for nothing.`