The UNP yesterday released a copy of the letters sent to the members in question, signed by Party Leader and former Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, dated 22 May 2020, informing them that the Party’s General Secretary has suspended them from any positions they hold and from party membership with immediate effect, based on his recommendation. “...taking into consideration the need to protect and safeguard the best interest of the party, I have recommended to the Party General Secretary to suspend you from any positions within the party and from your party membership.” Wickremesinghe stated in the letter. The letter grants the accused UNP members 7 days to show cause in writing to the Secretary General of the Party. Nanayakkara pointed out that UNP had sent out letters to 102 members of the party.
However, the procedure followed by the UNP leader to notify members of their suspension was called in to question by Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) member and former UNP MP, Ajith P. Perera. Perera told the Daily FT that a majority of the UNP Working Committee was with the SJB and will meet this afternoon at the SJB headquarters to discuss the letters issued by the UNP leader and how to respond to it. UNP General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, issuing a statement on 27 May, stated that those who submit cause and offer an explanation will have their explanations tabled at the upcoming Working Committee meeting.
“Any explanation which will be forthcoming from the Members will be placed before the Working Committee of the UNP at its next meeting for appropriate action,” he stated, pointing out that several candidates have expressed their regret for attempting to contest from other political parties.
Attempts to reach UNP General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam and SJB General Secretary Ranjith Madduma Bandara for comments failed.