The UNP has nothing to do with the presence of the party’s member for the Seethawaka Pradeshiya Sabha Shashi Hettiarachchi at a protest in front of the Chinese Embassy in Colombo, said its general secretary Palitha Range Bandara.
In a statement, Range Bandara said Hettiarachchi had not consulted either the party or himself before taking part in the demonstration over Sri Lanka’s debt restructuring.
The country’s debt structuring is a matter for the Finance Ministry to deal with on behalf of the government, and not for any political party or individual, he said.
The UNP is not having any association with the Finance Ministry’s involvement in the matter through diplomatic channels.
The UNP general secretary also said that people’s representatives from any party should maintain utmost accountability in their conduct, and they should firmly keep in mind that any arbitrary conduct by them will be detrimental, not beneficial, to society.
The party’s management board will decide in due course the action to be taken with regard to the PS member for participating in the protest without the party’s consent, the statement added.
Conspiracy to harm Sino-Lanka friendship!
Meanwhile, state intelligence has handed over a confidential report on the protest in question to the president, which points to a conspiracy to harm Sri Lanka’s friendship with China.
At the same time, the president and the government hierarchy have received reports about an attempt in recent times by vested interests to create anti-Chinese sentiments by using the state media and politicians of the government affiliate SLPP.
A senior official of the Presidential Secretariat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said a protest happening in front of the Chinese Embassy is highly suspicious at a time when talks on debt restructuring were progressing with the major lenders - China, Japan and India. Japan has already declared its support, while talks are ongoing with the other two lenders. At these discussions, China has never spoken negatively about restructuring Sri Lanka’s debt, said the official, noting that a demand for accelerating the process is quite uncalled for under such circumstances.
Meanwhile, government sources said the demonstration organized by the groups in the opposition that also were seen at the ‘Aragalaya’ had a cruel motive to disrupt the debt restructuring process and sabotage the planned arrangement with the IMF.
A person by the name Kelum Amarasinghe from ‘Aragalaya Jathika Viyaparaya’ has claimed in a video being circulated on social media that the protest in front of the Chinese Embassy was led by a group called ‘Sarva Pakshika Aragalakaruwan’.
This Amarasinghe is none other than the author of an anti-Chinese book titled ‘Cheenaya – Kondaya Kepuwata Pasu Lokaya' a few years ago.
His declaration that he attended the protest with political intentions itself makes the nature of political motives behind it very clear, said the sources.
Its organizer, ‘Sarva Pakshika Aragalakaruwan’, mainly comprises members of the SJB and the 43 Brigade.