Dec 18, 2016

Govt. attempt to sabotage civil society activists! Featured

Civil society activists are alleging that certain groups loyal to the government are trying to sabotage the activities of civil society activists whom it considers a threat.

Renowned literary figure Gamini Viyangoda and trade unionist Saman Ratnapriya cast doubts over an article in today’s (18) ‘Sathhanda’ and a related poster with the picture of artiste Dharmasiri Bandaranayake that has been pasted in Colombo town.

The newspaper said three SLFP and two UNP national list MPs are to be replaced with five civil society activists with subject knowledge.

Complete falsehood

When contacted, Viyangoda refuted the claim as a complete falsehood.

“I have no intention of becoming a minister or an MP in this stinking pit. This is a complete falsehood. If Dharmasiri says he will accept, that is up to him. I have not received any such proposal. A newspaper has said that I will be named through the UNP, with the intention of labeling me as an UNPer and smearing mud at me.”

Attempt at sabotage

Ratnapriya commented that this was an attempt to sabotage civil society and TU activities.

“No such proposal has been made. Neither do I have such a hope. I believe this to be a conspiracy to halt our civil society and trade union activities. When the people are told that we are going to join the government, their confidence in us is breached. I believe this news has been created with that intention.

Will accept a role

Bandaranayake, who is presently overseas and was reached via his son Ranga, said that he has not received any such invitation from the government yet.

When asked if he will accept if an invitation is made, he said he cannot comment on something unknown to him.

Bandaranayake said the president did not mention about a ministerial portfolio during a discussion with him while on the way to the UN summit for which he was a delegate member, but discussed problems in the fields of culture and arts.

The president told him that he could mediate in a dialogue with artistes to resolve their problems, he said, adding that he would accept a role if something could be done for the field.