The UNP Sathyagraha at Sirikotha will be held as planned, UNP reformist parliamentarians told the Daily Mirror. Refuting claims by UNP leader Ranil Wickramasinghe that the Sathyagraha would not take place, Dayasiri Jayasekara expressed his conviction that Sathyagraha would go ahead as planned.
“This is not a fight of the Ranil faction or the Sajith faction it’s a request by the common man. We believe that Karu Jayasuriya is the most suitable to lead the party at this juncture. Our main need is to have a viable opposition that can take on the government. That is what the people need and that is what the party supporters at grass root levels want. What the people want is unity and moving towards a common goal,” Jayasekara said.
When queried as to the reasoning given by the Wickramasinghe loyalist who assert according to the newly adopted constitution the leadership can't change until December, Jayasekara was quick to point out that it is the very people who talk of the constitution who end up culprits. "Tthe appointment of the National Organiser was done illegally without any constitutional standing, therefore it is ridiculous to see the very people who have violated the constitution talk about the need to adhere to it," he said.
He went on to assert that the leadership had lost its connection with the grassroot level. “What is clear here is that we have a party run by a few individuals who have moved away from the common man. We need a party that understands the plight of the common Sri Lankan and the leadership needs to change because it’s evident that it doesn’t understand the aspirations of the people,” he added.
Jayasekara said that tomorrow’s Sathyagraha will be a humble request to the party leadership to step down. “It's not a protest and we don’t intend on shouting slogans against our leaders, what we will hold is a peaceful sitting requesting Mr. Wickramasinghe to hand over the leadership to Hon. Karu Jayasuriya and for him to continue.”
He went on to divulge information that the Government intended to disrupt the proceedings. “We have also got news that the government intends on disrupting the protest by planting people at the Sathyagraha, we want our party member to be vigilant against any disrupting elements at this peaceful Sathyagraha, there is also news that a senior member of the Private Bus Association would bring wasps from Galewala to disrupt our peaceful Sathyagraha,” he said. (Fazal Mohomed)