UNP, SJB caved in to Diaspora pressure – Dr. Bandula Gunawardena

Bandula Gunawardena

The UNP and Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) boycotted Monday’s meeting convened by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees, to discuss the future course of action against COVID-19, due to pressure from the Diaspora, Higher Education, Technology and Innovation and Information and Mass Media Minister Dr Bandula Gunawardena said yesterday.

In an interview with ‘Daily News’ yesterday Minister Dr Gunawardena said the boycott by SJB led by Sajith Premadasa was very much on the cards. “The Premadasa Faction bowed down to pressure from the international Diaspora.”

The Minister said that he was somewhat surprised that the UNP also moved away from the talks. “I presume that they too were approached by the Diaspora and pressured to move away from this meeting.”

The Opposition members were calling to convene Parliament which was legally dissolved and hence this meeting convened by the PM was a golden opportunity to thrash out the issues they faced, the Minister noted.

At the meeting Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa explained the steps the Government had taken. The TNA members who attended this meeting expressed their views on difficulties faced by the Tamil people and found solutions to most of them. TNA Leader R. Sampanthan later handed over a set of proposals to Prime Minister Rajapaksa.

“The UNP and the SJB have let down their supports and voters as they were not successful in bringing their grievances to the attention of the Government.”

The boycott also shows that they are not helping to make a contribution to the battle against the Coronavirus but are seeking cheap political mileage. “They are demanding the reconvening of Parliament not to find any solutions but to create political uncertainty. What can be done in Parliament for the people could have been done had they attended the meeting with the Prime Minister.”

(Source: Daily News – By Shirajiv Sirimane)