President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday launched a veiled attack on the UNP and its leadership saying the current party was sharply different from the one led by the likes of DS Senanayake.
Addressing the launching ceremony of the biography of FR Senanayake, Sirisena said when he became the Common Candidate of the no-one coalition, he assumed he was joining the UNP created by DS Senanayake and Dudley Senanayake.
But soon did I realize that it was an entirely different party, he added.
“The UNP back then,” Sirisena said, “was a party that cherished our own values. It wanted to uplift our own industries. It aspired to strengthen the national economy. This was the vision of the likes of D.S. Senanayake who founded the UNP.”
It was not a party plagued with corruption and theft, Sirisena said subtly launching an attack on Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
“I fervently hope that the UNP will soon become a party that follows the footsteps of its great founders,” the President said.
This remarks came amidst an intensifying tug of war between Sirisena and Wickremesinghe over the affairs of the government. The relations between the coalition partners of the government – the UNP and the SLFP – have strained with Sirisena attempting to form a fresh alliance with former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.