JHU urges Ven. Rathana to desist from unilateral action

Athuraliye Rathana thera fast unto death

The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) has requested rebel MP Ven. Athureliye Rathana to engage in what it calls collective action against those who assist and sponsor terrorism instead of taking unilateral actions.

JHU General Secretary and Megapolis and Western Development Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka and Joint Chairman of the party, Ven Hadigalle Wimalasara, yesterday, called for a common front against terrorism.

The JHU was responding to Ven. Rathana’s fast launched last Friday (May 31) within the Dalada Maligawa premises demanding the immediate removal of Commerce and Industry Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, Eastern Province Governor M.L.A.M. Hisbullah and Western Province Governor Azath Salley. Ven. Rathana also wants a thorough investigation into allegations that Sinhala women have been sterilized without their consent.

Batticaloa-based TNA MP S Viyalendran, on Saturday (June 01), launched a hunger strike in the East in support of Ven. Rathana Thera. Both MPs have signed the no-confidence motion against Minister Bathiudeen over his alleged links to those responsible for the Easter Sunday carnage.

While urging President Maithripala Sirisena to address instability and insecurity caused by the Easter Sunday carnage, the JHU requested President Sirisena to take a decision on Governors appointed by him and consult Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Minister Bathiudeen.

The JHU warned unless President Sirisena acted swiftly, protests could rapidly spread to other areas.

Ven. Rathana was accommodated on the UNP National List as a JHU nominee following the last parliamentary polls in Aug 2015. In January 2017 he declared that he would function as an independent MP. JHU General Secretary Ranawaka requested Ven Rathana to quit his National List seat before exercising his freedom to engage in whatever protest campaign.

The latest JHU statement called for national campaign to pressure the government to take action against terrorism and extremism. The JHU warned President that it would step up its campaign against terrorism and extremism unless President Sirisena took remedial measures.

Last week, Minister Ranawaka asked ministerial colleague Bathiudeen to give up portfolios to facilitate ongoing probe.

Joint Opposition sources told The Island that they were engaged in talks with members of other parties to secure support for the no-faith motion against Minister Bathiudeen.

The two-day debate is scheduled to take place on June 18 and 19.

(Source: The Island – By Shamindra Ferdinando)