rift deepens over Ampara remarks
A section of UNP members including ministers are heading for an
open confrontation with the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress after making
allegations that the Rauff Hakeem-led Congress was blocking UNP
work in the eastern province.
The senior members
will be submitting a report to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe
next week about the issue after they carried out a detailed study
and held discussions with the UNP members in the Ampara district
over the weekend.
come following a surprise visit by a strong UNP contingent to the
Ampara district where they held discussions with grassroots level
party organisers who complained that the SLMC was suppressing the
UNP supporters in the district and as a result they were not benefiting
from the government.
It was at one
of these meetings that Minister P. Dayaratne who represents the
Ampara district drawing reference to the SLMC said that it was the
dog who could wag the tail and not the tail that wagged the dog.
Minister Rajitha Senaratne came out with a similar outburst saying
that Mr. Hakeem should remember that the government's majority was
the UNP, not the SLMC.
told The Sunday Times he took up the issue as he felt that the UNPers
in Ampara were being ill-treated by the SLMC and as a result he
was receiving large number of complaints from party supporters.
awaiting Mr. Hakeem's return after the peace talks to take up the
matter with the Prime Minister," SLMC member and Deputy Minister
Basheer Cegu Dawood told The Sunday Times. He said two members had
already met the Prime Minister and expressed concern over the comments
by the ministers.