VIDEO: Not backing down from challenge, ready to debate - Tissa

VIDEO: Not backing down from challenge, ready to debate - Tissa

August 14, 2012   02:52 pm

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The war of words between UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake and his SLFP counterpart, over the controversial accusations against the opposition leader, continued today with Attanayake claiming that Maithripala Sirisena was unaware of even simple facts of political history.

If Minister Maithripala Sirisena has tape recordings, documents and other evidence to prove that Ranil Wickaramasinghe provided inside information on Gamini Dissanayake’s election strategies to Chandrika Kumaratunga, he has approval to present them, he said.

He also asked the SLFP General Secretary to get former President Chandrika Kumarathunga to confirm his statement.

If Ranil Wickramasinghe had aided Chandrika Kuaratunga to defeat Gamini Dissanayake during the 1994 presidential election, why would she bring forth the Batalanda Commission to imprison Ranil after the election, Attanayake inquired during a press briefing today.

He stated that Maithripala Sirisena was wrong in two points and referred to a statement made by the Health Minister where he had claimed that Ranil Wickramasinghe as the Opposition Leader did not wait for the arrival of Gamini Dissanayake at the election stage.

The UNP Kandy District MP pointed out that when Gamini Dissanayake was contesting the presidential election, Ranil Wickramasinghe was not the Opposition Leader.

He was only a Colombo District MP, he corrected, adding, “Ranil Wickramasinghe became the Opposition Leader only after Gamini Dissanayake’s death.”

He had also told a Sunday newspaper in an interview that ‘Tissa Attanayake was not even there when I entered parliament,’ Attanayake said pointing to a newspaper cutting.

“When Maithirpala Sirisena entered parliament in 1989, I was also a MP and not only that I held a ministerial portfolio before him.”

Attanayake stated that he was the Minister of Higher education in 1993 while Maithripala was just an opposition MP at that time. “He doesn’t even know history,” he charged.

It is not appropriate for a Cabinet Minister to make such irresponsible statements, he said.

Rejecting accusations that he was backing down from his initial challenge to Minister Sirisena, Attanayake said there is no change to his open challenge and that he is prepared to debate this issue at any platform or TV channel, “if Maithripala brings Chandrika Kumaratunga’s evidence with him.”

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