The UNP, which is a respectable party, is now being led to its ruin by its dictatorial leadership through the signing of a pact with Mangala and Sripathy, former UNP parliamentarian and spokesman for the UNP rebel group R. A. D. Sirisena told The Island yesterday.
He said the UNP has now become a political joke with funny posters and muppets on show at its public meetings. `As I see it, Mangala and Sripathy are two new washing machines taken in to wash political dirty linen. Once, Mangala called the UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe `Mr. Bean` but now he has become `George Bush`. Ranil was also portrayed as a tiger by Mangala earlier, but now he may be Mangala`s tiger cub,` he said.
He said that when the Mangala-Ranil MoU was signed, posters were put up saying `crown your children`, but the MoU was only to crown two people, Ranil and Mangala, both power hungry men without national feeling. `Politics is short lived but we should live in this country with dignity even after retirement from politics. People have not forgotten the recent past because they are ahead of politicians,` he said
Ranil Wickremesinghe`s short lived government was prepared to give the LTTE an interim self governing authority in the North and East when even a common man will think twice before giving his house or shop on rent to someone else, he said. `If he had given the ISGA it could never have been changed. All the present problems including terrorism were there during Ranil`s short lived government, but he did not fight the war nor did he implement any development programmes. At that time, even without a war, he cut all subsidies and the Samurdhi benefits to the poor by two billion rupees. He did not give a single job opportunity for the jobless,` Sirisena said.
Minister of Investment Promotion Mano Wijeratne told The Island that the MoU has many clauses including one which takes the name UNP away and calls itself the Jatika Sabhava and that means the party colour, green and symbol, elephant are out.
He said Sripathy had said at a press conference that if the UNP came to power the SLFP (M) group will get the Deputy Premiership and 20 out of 32 Cabinet portfolios in the government. No one knows about what would happen to the UNP seniors if such a thing happened. Even some of the seniors like Rukman Senanayake, Tissa Attanayake or Tilak Karunaratne were not aware of the clauses in the MoU or other MoUs signed by Ranil Wickremesinghe with Mangala. These were not ratified by the UNP working committee or the parliamentary group, he said.