The United National Party (UNP) says that only the office assistant at its Party headquarters Srikotha will debate former Colombo District UNP MP Mohamed Maharoof, challenged UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to a face-to-face debate on a claim made by Mr Maharoof that he made two contributions, each of Rs. 500 million, to an election fund.
Mr. Mahroof, who crossed over to the Governments side recently, claimed that he gave the money for two presidential election campaigns of UNP Leader Rail Wickremesinghe, in the presence of former UNP Chairman Malik Samarawickreme.
UNP General Secretary and Kandy district parliamentarian Tissa Attanayaka said that the office assistant can debate Mr Maharoof, as he was making nonsensical claims. “When Mr. Wickremesinghe was asked this recently, he said that, the KKS (Karyala Karaka Sevaya) or office assistant at Srikotha can debate Mr. Maharoof,” the UNP General Secretary said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Samarawickreme dismissed Mr. Maharoofs’s claims as “utter rubbish.” “He is politically bankrupt. When an election comes around, he comes out with all kinds of wild allegations,” Mr. Samarawickreme said.
He added that the UNP has not taken any money from Mr. Maharoof. “If he has that kind of money, it must be investigated how he acquired it.”
Mr. Maharoof claimed that he had funded Mr. Wickremesinghe’s election campaign when he went in a procession to Temple Trees with a large number of his supporters.
When asked where the money came from, Mr. Maharoof said he would only disclose it at a debate with the UNP Leader. “I will disclose everything, if he comes for a face-to-face debate with me,” Mr. Maharoof told the Sunday Times.