As the UNP’s home and home clash in Matara last weekend entered the realm of Parliament, with UNP Matara District MP Mangala Samaraweera tabling evidence of his supporters being attacked, Government MPs strongly backed the anti-Ranil faction involved in the violence.
UPFA Minister Rohitha Abeygoonewardane praised the Sirasa Media Network and the Mawbima newspaper, run by businessmen Kili Rajamahendran and Tiran Alles who are closely affiliated with the Sajith Premadasa faction of the UNP that is agitating for Ranil Wickremesinghe’s removal.
“Sirasa and Mawbima are owed the nation’s thanks for courageously revealing the truth behind the violence,” the Government Minister said, slamming Samaraweera for thuggery and violent tactics.
“The March was a peaceful march – these thugs attacked a peaceful march,” he said.
“Look at some of these faces,” the Minister said, tabling photographs of the violence, “Budu ammo, these are worse than LTTE faces.”
The Minister said that the ITN will be called a Government media, but Sirasa and Mawbima were private channels and therefore credible.
Minister Abeygoonewardane slammed Samaraweera saying he was a conspirator when he was in the SLFP as well.
Minister Jagath Pushpakumara also addressed the House and spoke against Samaraweera’s speech and criticised the former SLFP strongman on Thursday.
Samaraweera told a news conference on Friday that the Government was assisting the Sajith Premadasa faction and the Sirasa and Mawbima media organisations to launch a witch-hunt against him and his supporters in his home district of Matara in a bid to weaken his organisational structure in the region.