by Zacki Jabbar
A clash near UNP headquarters, Sirikotha, yesterday left more than 30 persons injured. Trouble began when a group of pro-government activists staged a protest demanding that the UNP reveal what they called the contents of a secret pact between UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and Opposition Presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena.
Both sides accused each other of starting the clash.
The UNP said that Engineering Services Minister Wimal Weerawansa had engineered mob attack on its headquarters Sirikotha while the party’s Education Trade Union Convention was on.
Both the National Democratic Front (NDF) Presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena and UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe were participating in the Convention which was attended by over a 1000 members of the Education Trade Union.
Working Committee member of the UNP R.Yogarajan MP told The Island that the mob which had been led by one Bandara were Wimal Weerawansa’s boys. They were protesting against an agreement that Maithripala had allegedly entered into with Ranil with regard to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. If the accusation which was made by Tissa Attanayake after defecting to the government was true, the purported pact should have been between Maithripala and the Tamil parties. By dragging Ranil into this, Attanayake who was doing the dirty work for President Mahinda Rajapaksa has made a fool of himself. The signatures of both Ranil and Maithripala have been forged and the matter has been reported to the Police.”
He said that the mob had thrown stones, engine oil and used wooden poles to attack UNPers who had came out to defend their headquarters. “The thugs were eventually repulsed but not before they had injured some of our members.”
The clash which had lasted for about an hour was quelled, after the police made a belated arrival, the MP observed.