By Darshana Sanjeewa Balasuriya
Sri Lanka Labour Party Leader A.S.P. Liyanage, who once said that the President had promised him the post of governor, yesterday said that he is ready to govern a province, with special emphasis on representing the Catholic community.
He said that the Catholic Council had reportedly focused its attention on seeking one of the nine Governor’s posts for a Catholic because currently there are no Catholics among the nine governors.
“I am a Catholic and my party is with President Sirisena. I will be a strong supporter of the government. Due to the recent terror attacks in the country and the current political situation, the Catholic community appear to have distanced themselves from the President and the government. I believe that the President will appoint me one of the governors to help bring about equality and reconciliation,” he said.
Mr. Liyanage was appointed as the Ambassador to Qatar in March 2017 and resigned earlier this year amidst controversy. He was expecting to be appointed a governor during the recent reshuffle of governors but this did not take place.
He said he had resigned from the Ambassador’s post after completing two years during which time he had fulfilled the responsibilities given to him by the President. Liyanage once said that as the Leader of the Sri Lanka Labour Party, which is an party associated with the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA), he is planning to expand his party with the intention of fielding candidates for the upcoming Provincial Council elections.
It was reported that following the resignation of Azath Salley and M. L. A. M. Hizbullah as governors of the Western and Eastern Provinces respectively, the President had a discussion with senior members of the government to fill those positions and they were reported to have put forward ASP Liyanage’s name for a governor’s position.