Development Strategies and International Trade Deputy Minister Nalin Bandara Jayamaha said today he would resign and go back to teaching if Minister Sajith Premadasa was not given nomination to contest the presidential election.
Speaking at a media briefing, he said Minister Premadasa should contest the presidential election as he was the only person who could win the poll.
“People have hopes that Sajith Premadasa will be the next president. He will help address poverty and develop the country. We know the UNP will lose if Sajith is not nominated. If anyone replaces him, the result will be the same. Therefore, it is better to resign from politics and return to my previous profession of teaching without struggling for a losing battle. People will blame me for not attempting to save the UNP from victory," he said.
Moreover, he said the abolition of executive presidency was brought back to the limelight in a bid to stall the UNP from taking a decision on Sajith. “This attempt is childish,” he said.
On a different note, he said former Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella admitted during a televised programme that the previous regime funded National Tawheed Jamaat (NTJ) leader Mohamed Zahran Hashim for intelligence gathering.
"We did not know why they collected intelligence from such a terrorist outfit. The salaries had been paid after 2010. There was no war between 2010 and 2015. During his regime, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, together with former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, had formed Zahran's group to achieve certain agendas. That group must have gone out of control following the defeat of the Rajapaksas. This is the first instance where a former Cabinet minister accepted the forming of a terrorist group. They have also funded Prabhakaran's intelligence chief Pottu Amman to justify Zahran's incident. Against this backdrop, we request the government, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith and the IGP to grill the former Cabinet minister," he said. (Chaturanga Samarawickrama)