By Yohan Perera
The United National Party (UNP) has changed his original stand to attend the meeting of all former MPs called by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and had decided to boycott it today.
The decision to boycott today’s meeting at Temple Trees was made when its former MPs met at party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe’s residence yesterday. The party was of the opinion that it would not be possible to make important decisions with the participation of MPs from previous Parliaments.
The party said in a statement that a meeting which is attended by MPs in previous Parliaments cannot be considered as an alternative to convening of Parliament.
“Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, in a politically motivated move decided to host a meeting of the former Members of the 2015 Parliament on Monday, May 4. While this meeting was not accepted as an alternative to the official reconvening of Parliament, the UNP decided to attend the meeting so as to once again reiterate the party’s official stance that politics must be put aside in the face of the growing national crisis caused by COVID-19.
However, the party has since learnt that the invitation to this meeting has been extended to all former MPs and other active political leaders, including those from previous Parliaments, thereby expanding the invitation from the original 225 MPs. The UNP is of the opinion that no meaningful dialogue can be held in this type of meeting, the UNP has decided to boycott this meeting with Prime Minister Rajapaksa today, a statement said.
“The Rajapaksa regime are focused on playing party politics at a time when the nation needs unity in the leadership. The UNP stands ready to assist the government in their efforts to eradicate the COVID-19 menace that has seen our country come to a standstill.
However, in order to effectively do so, the government must ensure that all measures taken are those in line with the country’s constitution,” the statement added.
With this development, the UNP also falls into the same line of its breakaway group Samagi Jana Balawegaya which had also decided to boycott today’s meeting.