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JO trying to win over minorities by making them feel unsafe – Marikkar

By Nisali De Silva

Image credit: Aksam Zarook / Wikimedia Commons

The United National Party (UNP) yesterday accused sections of the main Opposition of harassing minorities to make them feel unsafe in Sri Lanka under the present government.

Sections of the Opposition have resorted to harassing minority communities physically, mentally as well as economically to signal to them that minorities are unsafe in Sri Lanka under the present administration, thereby convincing them to side with the main Opposition at an election, UNP MP S. M. Marikkar said.

On the other hand, he told journalists at Temple Trees yesterday (9 July), some Opposition members are hoping to win the upcoming presidential election with only Sinhala Buddhist votes with their extremist agenda.

“These days they are trying to obstruct the Government’s development drive by cloaking themselves in patriotism and spreading extremism and racism across the country. They cannot win minority votes. What can we do about that?” said the MP.

“Today, the Joint Opposition is carrying out a divisive agenda, which has led to nearly 2.2 Muslims being labelled terrorists,” he added.

Asked whether it would be a challenge to the UNP if former Defence Ministry Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa were to be the Opposition’s presidential candidate, Marikkar said that it would, in fact, be easier for his party if Rajapaksa was the candidate as “there would a lot to talk about.”