UNF says “No” to debate before polls

The United National Front (UNF) decided to oppose having the Parliamentary debate on the Bond Commission report and PRECIFAC report prior to the elections, National Co-existence, Dialogue and Official Languages Minister Mano Ganesan said. The Party Leaders representing the UNF met for a special meeting chaired by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at Temple Trees yesterday.

Ministers Patali Champika Ranawaka, Rauf Hakeem, Rajitha Senaratne, Mano Ganesan, Malik Samarawickrama, Lakshman Kiriella and Akila Viraj Kariyawasam took part in the hour long meeting.

Ganesan told the Daily News that it was pointed out at the meeting that the reason to call for a Parliamentary debate on the reports of two Presidential Commissions of Inquiry before the LG elections was nothing but political.

“We decided that it is not proper to hold the debate on February 8 as it affects the ‘silence period’ before the elections. Any media may give a twist to the content of the debate and it will be too late to correct it,” he commented.

He said the UNF leaders would register their opposition to have the debate before the elections at the Party Leaders’ Meeting convened by the Speaker today. He further said President Maithripala Sirisena’s recent remarks at a public rally inviting the Joint Opposition to form a Government was discussed at length at the meeting. “It was noted at the meeting that the President received a mandate in January 2015 against corrupt acts of some JO members. Therefore, the people who voted for the Common Candidate in 2015 will not endorse him forming a Government with the JO. However, we concluded that this was not serious talk from the President and what he said was a political statement,” he added. 

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