Amarawathi Restaurant down Palmyrah Avenue in Kollupitiya was the place where the plan to boo at former president Chandrika Kumaratunga at the Kurunegala SLFP Bala Mandala meeting at Maliyadeva Girls’ School yesterday (09) was made on the previous day. This restaurant is owned by former minister Johnston Fernando.
On the night of the 08th, present at the restaurant at the invitation of the ex-cooperatives minister were MP Namal Rajapaksa and several persons from certain media institutions, who, together, had plotted the plan. North western province chief minister Dayasiri Jayasekara has joined in over the phone from time to time. Namal advised Dayasiri not to dodge, as it was a project by Johnny.
Namal handed over the implementation part to Kurunegala mayor Gemunu and deputy mayor Anwar Saththar, who had joined the former government from the UNP to strengthen the hands of Mahinda Rajapaksa. Joining them was Aruna Dahanayake, who had held a top position in the cooperatives ministry when Johnny was the minister.
At the Kurunegala meeting, the trio had raised a din from the last row of participants, but no one heard them due to the clapping. President Maithripala Sirisena left, saying he had to attend a meeting in Polonnaruwa. Around 10 minutes to go for the end of the meeting, ex-president Kumaratunga got down from the platform and was about to leave, when Dahanayake had gone to her and said, “Madam, Madam. Don’t abuse our president Mahinda Rajapaksa.” Then, Nikaweratiya Pradeshiya Sabha member Ananda said, “If your president was defeated, tell him to accept defeat. Don’t sabotage the work of these people.” Angered by that, Dahanayake had assaulted the PS member. Kumaratunga was taken away by her bodyguards.
Ten minutes into the incident, a pro-Rajapaksa website posted an article that had been previously arranged, under the heading “Chandrika booed at, driven away at Kurunegala.”