The United National Party as the then main opposition took a firm stand in October 2013, when they unanimously decided to vote against the attempts made by the Rajapaksa regime to legalize casinos through a draft legislation which was presented in Parliament.
However, recent photographs of the Mayor of Colombo, UNP’s Ahamed Jamaldeen Mohamed Muzammil‘s full action playing high stakes in a casino is going viral in social media.
The UNP PC MP, President’s Counsel Srinath Perera wrote to the UPFP PC member Udaya Gammanpila the following letter in February 2014;
Mr Udaya Gammanpila,
District Leader of Colombo for the UPFA.
Dear Mr. Gammanpila,
We have come to know – through media reports – that you have launched your election campaign under the auspices of Defense Secretary Gorabaya Rajapaksa.
Gota and GammanpilaAlthough you brag about political ethics and adherence to election laws, you have launched your election campaign under the aegis of a government official, showing the level of your hypocrisy and duplicity.
It is an offence to use state officials and state property in an election campaign under any circumstance, and the fact that you have violated election laws in public at very outset of your campaign disqualified you from boasting about political ethics or “new political culture”
We are also interested to know why you – who stated to stand against establishing casinos in the country – chose to launch your campaign with the support of Mr. Rajapaksa, who explicitly favours casinos in Sri Lanka.
The Urban Development Ministry was the body that gave approval to start new casinos in Colombo, and Mr. Rajapaksa, in his capacity as the Secretary of the Defence and Urban Development Ministry, handles various key responsibilities in this regard. He has always been of the view that Sri Lanka should have an open policy towards casinos.
This brings into question your self-styled anti- Casino patriotism. It is clear that you have betrayed your policies, ethics and values for your new ‘position’ as the District leader for the UPFA.
We therefore challenge you to disclose your stand on several matters,
Have you changed your policy on Casinos?
Have you changed your view on ‘political culture’ and political ethics’ ?
What is the reason for sudden shift of core beliefs?
We openly challenge you to answer the aforesaid questions.
Srinath Perera PC
Colombo District UNP Candidate