AJP to seek clarification to fill National List slot

Athuraliye Rathana Thera

The Ape Janabala Party (AJP) will seek clarification from legal sources to appoint a member to its National List slot.

Party Member and former MP Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera said yesterday (13), at a Media briefing in Colombo, the National List slot allocated to their Party was a burden.

He said Party member Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera cannot be legally appointed to this seat, and further claimed that the tug-of-war between the faction that supports him and the one that supports Gnanasara Thera, was merely a drama created by certain members of the Party.

Rathana Thera alleged the majority of Party members including General Secretary Ven. Vedinagama Wimalatissa Thera and Chairman Saman Perera were acting according to their political agendas, conspiring to ensure the Party’s defeat, even prior to the election campaign’s commencement.

He added that although he had the qualifications to fill the slot he however had no intention of accepting the seat. He added that according to the MoU between the Vijaya Dharani National Council and the Party, the power of the General Secretary has been reduced.

Rathana Thera explained that selecting the MP for the National List slot should be decided by Court as there was a crisis. “I am depressed over the National list slot that has been given to us. It has created unwanted issues within the Party. We were fooled by some Party officials and we regret the decision we took. What we have to do is to hold a discussion between the two factions supporting me and Gnanasara Thera and then come to a conclusion,” he further said.

He maintained that he will never compete in any election as a candidate of this Party.

When queried about the allegation that Wimalatissa Thera had been abducted by him, the Thera denied the claim and added that while even Gnanasara Thera had initially thought the same, the latter’s stance in this regard had since changed.

Meanwhile, he lamented that the Party did not get many votes because they did not have enough funds to conduct a proper election campaign, and said those who had the money, had obtained a large  number of votes.

The Party, according to Rathana Thera had planned to spend Rs 10 million on canvassing but ultimately had not even spent Rs one million.

Nominations forwarded by the Party for the Kalutara, Colombo, Moneragala and Kurunegala Districts were rejected.

“We could have taken legal actions regarding the rejection of the nomination, but we did not have enough money to hire a lawyer to represent us,” he noted.

He also cited the lack of support from the State-run Media institutions as a reason for their failure. “We did not get any support from the Media, not even from the State-run Media channels even though they had to support us. These are the reasons why we did not get any seats in Parliament except for the National List slot. We expected to get  at least three seats but because of the failed canvassing campaign, we were not able to gain much,” he said.

(Source: Ceylon Today – By Thameenah Razeek)