INTERVIEW: Unwanted Elements Are On The UNP Nomination List - Ravi

UNP Parliamentarian Ravi Karunanayake, in a strongly worded letter of resignation, said he would step down from the nomination board of the United National Party adding that the party had given nomination to some candidates who have not worked for the party even for a day. Despite his resignation from the nomination board, he says he will support the party's election campaign in Colombo.

 

 “We have to deal with the reality. We had the opportunity to field a fantastic team for Colombo. But now we have fielded just a 'team'. The 'fantastic' element is not there. That is the difference. So this is not going to result in a positive outcome. It is also important to understand that Colombo is a place where the UNP holds a certain edge over the government, “ Karunanayake said in an interview with 'Asian Mirror'. However, he denied the speculation that he had fallen out with Party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe over the matter.

Following are excerpts of the interview: 

 Q: your letter of resignation from the nomination board of the party has given rise to the speculation that you have fallen out with the party leadership. Is there any truth in that statement?

 A: No. It is completely false. There is no fall out with the leadership. My loyalty to the party has never wavered. On principle, I cannot agree with some of the decisions made by the nomination board.  Therefore, I decided to distance myself from the work of the nomination board and resign from my position. The reasons which led to my decision to resign from the nomination board of the party have been clearly stated in my letter. 

 Q: What are the nomination board decisions that you cannot agree with?

 A: I believe some unwanted elements have come in. As I clearly said in my resignation letter some nominees of the UNP have not worked for the party even for a day. This has created a huge frustration among electorate organizers of Colombo. So it is my duty to show solidarity with the Colombo District electorate organizers who work very closely with me. That is why I decided to step down from the nomination board. 

Q: Can you specifically name those 'unwanted elements'?

 A: I don't think I should name them. But from certain areas of the Colombo District, they have jumped on to the nomination list. By and by, people will realize who they are. They are the people who haven't done any work for the party.

Q:Do you think such decisions will make a disastrous impact on the final result of the Colombo district?

A: I don't think there will be a 'disastrous' impact. I don't agree with that particular term. But I think such decisions will make a negative impact on the final result of Colombo. It is obvious that the party will not be able to obtain the best result, when it does not field the best team. No one can escape from that reality. 

Q: Do you say that the party has failed to field the best team for Colombo?

A: If there are unwanted elements on the list of nominees, if there are people who haven't worked for the party even for a day, how can it be the best team? We have to deal with the reality. We had the opportunity to field a fantastic team for Colombo. But now we have fielded just a 'team'. The 'fantastic' element is not there. That is the difference. So this is not going to result in a positive outcome. It is also important to understand that Colombo is a place where the UNP holds a certain edge over the government. 

Q: As a result of the decisions made by the nomination board of the party,Do you distance yourself from the election campaign in Colombo?

A: I have no reason to distance myself from the election campaign in Colombo. I have only resigned from the nomination board of the United National Party on principle. That does not in anyway mean that I will distance myself from any of the other party work. I will do my best for the betterment of the party and I always work for the best interests of the party. That will never change. 

Q: What do you think about the decision to remove Feroza Muzammil from the Colombo district list?

 A:I don't wish to comment on individual decision. Therefore,I don't want to comment on Mrs. Muzammil's matter. I am always commenting as a whole, looking at the bigger picture. 

Q: Did the party leader contact you after you sent him the letter of resignation? 

A: Of course he contacted me after sending the letter of resignation. 

Q: What did he say?

A: I don't wish to reveal that to media at this point.   

(Rasika Jayakody)

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