The UNP Leadership Council is being urged to launch a disciplinary inquiry into the conduct of its Colombo Mayor, after the latter flouted a party decision last week.
Colombo Mayor A.J.M. Muzammil attended the CHOGM opening ceremony on Friday despite a decision by the UNP Leadership Council to boycott Commonwealth proceedings due to the recent attacks on its party headquarters by Government goons.
Muzammil has feigned ignorance about the party decision, arrived at on Wednesday after a human rights festival at its Sirikotha headquarters came under attack by Government sponsored demonstrators.
However, earlier the Mayor told the media that inspite of the incident, he had participated in the opening ceremony “displaying the spirit of patriotic cooperation and to fulfill the duties that have traditionally been bestowed upon the city of Colombo’s first citizen.”
But party insiders say Muzammil, made the calculation that it was safer to flout his Party orders rather than risk the wrath of Defence and Urban Development Authority Ministry Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. He is now seeking the UNP’s forgiveness for attendance.
The opposition seats at CHOGM were empty following the UNP decision with the exception of the Colombo Mayor.
Muzammil won the 2011 Municipal election in Colombo to head the only UNP administration in the country. However his tenure has been marked by capitulation before the all powerful Defence Ministry and UDA under whose supervision the capital has been getting a massive facelift. The wife of his son, a foreigner who came from overseas was also recently was appointed to a senior position at the Kingsbury Hotel owned by Rajapaksa confidant and businessman Dhammika Perera.
Despite being voted into office by the city’s urban poor, the Colombo Mayor has been deafeningly silent on the issue of urban evictions in Slave Island and Maligawatte by the Rajapaksa run UDA, the heart of the UNP’s vote base in the capital.
The UNP Mayor has been a strong proponent of the Secretary to the MOD and has repeatedly credited Gotabaya Rajapaksa with the rejuvenation of the Capital.
Despite nearly all the expenditure for the recent CHOGM face-lift of Colombo being borne by the Colombo Municipal Council and the World Bank that is funding the metro development project in part, the Mayor has permitted the credit to be given to the UDA and the Defence Ministry.
In the aftermath of the beautification, the Colombo Mayor has begun to demand that the Ministry of External Affairs pays the CMC a whopping Rs. 800 million for city upgrade.
Under the circumstances, senior UNP members are calling for an inquiry into the Mayor’s conduct given his recent behaviour.