United National Party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe today, evoked the Dhammapada to deliver a lengthy response in Parliament to a scathing statement made by departing UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera last week. In a special statement to the House, Wickremesinghe clarified that Jayasekera had been given ample chances by the UNP leadership and had in fact expressed confidence in the party leadership days before his crossover. Jayasekera had misled the House during his speech in parliament to announce his resignation on 24 July, he said. According to Wickremesinghe, Dayasiri Jayasekera had accepted the Party and its Leadership in writing on 11 July and participated in the selection of the candidates for the North Western Province on 23 July before quitting the party on 24 July. “This reflects the depth and trustworthiness of this person,” the UNP Leader said.
Following is the full text of the UNP Leader’s speech:
I thank you for giving me an opportunity to make a special statement in this House today.
I will start this speech with an excerpt of the first stanza in ‘Yamaka Vagga’ of Dammapada:
Manopubbangama dhamma – manosettha manomaya
Manasa che padutthena – bhasati va karoti va
Tato nam dukkamanveti – chakkamva vahato padam
It means that:
All mental phenomena have mind as their forerunner; they have mind as their chief; they are mind-made. If one speaks or acts with an evil mind, dukkha or suffering follows him just as the wheel follows the hoof print of the ox that draws the cart.
Calling to the mind that noble teaching of Lord Buddha I make this statement today under Standing Orders 84 and 19.
At this instance a stanza in Mahavagga, Second fifty, third part of Angutthara Nikaya comes to my mind:
It mentions that, “If a questioned person conceals one talk by another talk, turns the talk to some external side or shows anger, aversion and dissatisfaction, such person is not suitable for talk”. Even then, as this House has been misled by the talk of that person, I express these views to uncover the truth.
Many Members of Parliament on both sides of this House know that the ex-Member, Hon. Dayasiri Jayasekera held discussions to join this Alliance Government during the last period of a year. This ex-Member had again discussed about the proposals for joining the Government during the first half of the year 2013 when it had been anticipated to hold the North-Eastern Provincial Council Election. Since it is difficult to get ministerial portfolios by crossing over to another Party in Parliament, discussions had been held on the basis of accepting the candidacy for the post of Chief Minister in the North-Western Provincial Council with its election and resigning from Parliament lawfully for that purpose. Media also published reports on it. However, those discussions ended up in a failure.
Since Hon. Dayasiri Jayasekera had held discussions with this Alliance Government during the last period of about a year and he had again discussed on the matter of joining the Government during the first half of the year 2013 when it was anticipated to hold the North-Western Provincial Council Election, the Heads of the Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya had no pleasure in his appointment to the post of its President. Therefore, we had no occasion to give the Hon. Member the responsibilities and positions in the Party. It really is a question of confidence.
Thereafter, the Hon. Member made statements on the platform, at media conferences and to the media that he will never leave the United National Party. At that point I as well as the seniors in the Party had to take several decisions.
When Mr. Anura Bandaranaike held discussions with President D.B.Wijetunga, Mrs. Bandaranaike banned the Party membership of Mr. Anura Bandaranaike. We discussed as to whether such a step should be followed or another opportunity should be given in case of the ex-Member, Hon. Dayasiri Jayasekera. Since Hon. Dayasiri Jayasekera reassured that he will not leave the Party, a decision was taken to give him that opportunity and we also decided to make a settlement of the disciplinary action in progress on that Member. By that time that Member had disciplinary inquiries against him on criticizing the election of Office-Bearers of the Party. He had accepted at that disciplinary inquiry that certain such statements had been distorted and published with exaggerations by the media and that certain other statements he had really made. However, he came to a written full agreement to take action not to repeat them in future. Accordingly, the Disciplinary Committee having decided that proceeding with the disciplinary inquiries in question is not necessary, terminated the disciplinary procedures. In order to enclose into my statement the agreement arrived at in writing by Hon. Dayasiri Jayasekera, I table the report of the disciplinary inquiry held on 05.05.2012 in Sirikotha.
Still another complaint had been received against him on criticizing the activities of the Party.
Accordingly, at the discussion held on 11th July with the General Secretary of the United National Party, Mr. Thilak Marapana, the Chairman of the Disciplinary Board of the Party, Mr. Daya Pelpola, Legal Secretary and Mr. Ashendra Senarath, Attorney-at-Law, Hon. Dayasiri Jayasekera stated that his statements had been inaccurately published by electronic media, he has no intention whatsoever of criticizing the Party or its Leadership, however if the Party or its Leadership or the General Secretary has faced any inconvenience due to any statement made by him he apologizes for it. In order to enclose the statements made by Hon. Dayasiri Jayasekera at the discussion held on 11.07.2013, I table the decision of the Board of Disciplinary Inquiry held on 15.07.2013.
That Report, having been approved by the Disciplinary Board on 15th July, was submitted to the Working Committee of the Party. The Working Committee accepted those recommendations and terminated action. The General Secretary, on 18.07.2012, informed by registered post that the Working Committee having taken into consideration the Report of the relevant Disciplinary Committee and the explanations made by Hon. Dayasiri Jayasekera at the discussion in question, decided to conclude the disciplinary inquiries and disciplinary action on him, that he is expected to show such a conduct as not to violate the codes of discipline and Constitution of the Party and that he is expected to give his contribution for all activities of the Party. I table the relevant part of that letter dated 18.07.2012 for enclosure. Hon. Dayasiri Jayasekera had sent no reply either accepting or challenging that letter.
Thereafter, on 18th July, Hon. Dayasiri Jayasekera called on me and the General Secretary of the Party. On Tuesday, 23rd July, he participated also in the conference for selection of Provincial Council candidates of the United National Party in Kurunegala District. But, after a message received from the Government in that evening, Hon. Dayasiri Jayasekera, to the astonishment of all of us, made a special statement in Parliament on Wednesday, 24th July to the effect that he would be leaving the United National party and contesting the Election for the North-Western Provincial Council under the Alliance.
Hon. Speaker, the surprising part here is that the same person who accepts the Party and its Leadership in writing on 11th July and further assures of the same verbally on 18th July and also the same person who takes part in selection of candidates for the North-Western Province on 23rd July, criticizes the Party and its Leadership on 24th July and leaves the Party. This reflects the depth and trustworthiness of this person.
Hon. Speaker, at this moment, a stanza coming in the fourth Udaka rahada sutta at Valahaka vagga in fourth part of Angutthara Nikaya comes to my mind. There are four types of lakes in the world. At times the shallow lakes appear to be deep; at other times deep lakes appear to be shallow; at still other times the deep lakes will appear to be deep; and also at yet other times the shallow lakes appear to be shallow. The stanza explains that the people are also like that.
The very same day, Hon. Haren Fernando, at his speech leveled certain charges against Hon. Dayasiri Jayasekera. According to the Parliamentary tradition, if that statement is false, he could have made the Speaker a request in this House to hold an inquiry on those charges by making a statements that he does not accept it.
Hon. Dayasiri Jayasekera resigned from Parliament on 29th Monday. If so, he could have made such a statement by coming to the Parliament on Thursday or Friday. But he never did it. Why did he not make a statement and keep quiet in Parliament? I think it’s important to know the reason for it.
In fact, it is not to create a new tradition but since it was required, by law, to resign from the membership of Parliament to contest a Provincial Council Election that Hon. Dayasiri Jayasekera resigned from his membership of Parliament. Also Hon. Gamini Jayawicrama Perera, Hon. Percy Samaraweera, Hon. M.S.Amarasiri, Hon. W.P.P.N.Dasanayake, Hon. S.B.Navinna, Hon. Ashoka Wadigamangawa who were the Members of Parliament had resigned from the membership of Parliament in the same way. Hon. Dayasiri Jayasekera only followed that practice of law.
Some Party Members blame me for not taking action against Hon. Dayasiri Jayasekera and expelling him. It was I who paved Hon. Dayasiri Jayasekera the way for entry to the Parliament. For the first time I proposed him at the residence of Minister G.L.Peiris, to contest the Election in 2001for the District of Kurunegala from the United National Party for.
Accordingly, Mr. Dayasiri Jayasekera who presented himself for that election came as the last person in the list of Preferential Votes and even then we opened doors for him to contest again at the General Election in 2004. Even among the protests of certain Members of Parliament in Kurunegala District, we did not change our position. Anyhow, Mr. Dayasiri Jayasekera won that election and entered Parliament.
I and the seniors of the Party gave him every opportunity to proceed with his work in Parliament and Hon. Dayasiri Jayasekera was also appointed as the Deputy Chief Organizer of the Parliamentary Group. It is because of the United National Party that he was able to come forward like that. If I did not take such decisions, he would not be able to come to Parliamentary politics. At that time I saw him as a character that can go forward.
Hon. Speaker, I would like to recollect a sermon made by Lord Buddha about Ven. Sariputtha. That is, rare are the one who help, the ones who know help and the ones who are grateful.
The ex-Member Dayasiri Jaysekera failed to understand that politics is a path to tread along with endurance and adjust his practice accordingly. Sometimes some people fall into pitfalls on their way. Unfortunately, he also encountered that fate. As was sermonized by Ven. Thing Na Hang, a Vietnamese Priest, we have a very short period and so we should proceed slowly.
By presenting these facts, I entirely disclaim the statement full of falsehood made in Parliament by Hon. Dayasiri Jayasekera on 24.07.2013.