MEM­BERS EN­GAGE IN PO­LIT­I­CAL BAN­TER

In­au­gu­ral meet­ing of Mo­ratuwa Mu­nic­i­pal Coun­cil

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) - - METRO - BY REKA THARANGANI

Re­cently elected Mo­ratuwa Mu­nic­i­pal­ity mem­bers en­gaged in po­lit­i­cal ban­ter re­lat­ing to black arm bands, tele­vi­sions pur­chased from pub­lic funds and the game of snakes and lad­ders, dur­ing its in­au­gu­ral meet­ing held last week.

JVP coun­cil­lor Nis­han­tha Fer­nando kicked off with the is­sue of pur­chas­ing a tele­vi­sion set with pub­lic funds. The coun­cil­lor re­minded mem­bers that pub­lic funds could not be used for such pur­poses and re­quested bills for re­im­burse­ments not be pre­sented to the coun­cil on such mat­ters.

“Just be­cause we got elected does not mean that we can use pub­lic funds as we please. I would like to state here that we will not be ap­prov­ing the re­im­burse­ment of such pur­chases. The res­i­dents elected us to re­solve their is­sues for them and not for such is­sues,” he said.

The meet­ing also wit­nessed UNP mem­bers wear­ing black arm bands con­demn­ing the at­tack on fel­low coun­cil­lor Sa­jith Du­minda Peiris who was as­saulted by sev­eral in­di­vid­u­als. Com­ment­ing on the UNP mem­bers de­ci­sion,

The coun­cil­lor re­minded mem­bers that pub­lic funds could not be used for such pur­poses and re­quested bills for re­im­burse­ments not be pre­sented to the coun­cil on such mat­ters

SLPP mem­ber Anura Fer­nando drew par­al­lels with the for­mer coun­cil­lor who was ha­rassed by mem­bers of the pre­vi­ous coun­cil.

The meet­ing also wit­nessed UNP mem­bers wear­ing black arm bands con­demn­ing the at­tack on fel­low coun­cil­lor Sa­jith Du­minda Peiris who was as­saulted by sev­eral in­di­vid­u­als.

“With ev­ery­thing she had to go through, we weren’t sur­prised that she de­cided to wear a black sari ev­ery day. She went through much more at the hands of the pre­vi­ous coun­cil,” Fer­nando said.

Other SLPP mem­bers also com­mented on UNP may­oral can­di­date Se­naka Da­mayan­tha who re­lin­quished his post at the Pro­vin­cial Coun­cil to com­pete in the re­cently con­cluded elec­tions.

“What hap­pened to Se­naka Da­mayan­tha was un­fair. He was a pro­vin­cial coun­cil­lor who was asked to com­pete in the mu­nic­i­pal­ity elec­tions. It was like watch­ing a game of snakes and lad­ders, where he stepped into a square filled with snakes and had to step down much more than an­tic­i­pated,” he said.

Re­ply­ing to the state­ment, Coun­cil­lor Su­nil Masako­rala (UNP) said that if po­lit­i­cal mileage was to be de­ter­mined by a game such as snakes and lad­ders, then it was only fair to note that for­mer pres­i­dent Mahinda Ra­japakse who was the Pres­i­dent of the coun­try on one oc­ca­sion was no longer a min­is­ter or even a par­lia­men­tar­ian of note.

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