(excerpt from the “Ceylon Politics” Column titled “Sajith boycotts Ranil’s Tea Party in the “Ceylon Today” of August 6th 2022)
After the President’s Policy Statement, Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa got SJB MPs together and started to discuss about the speech.
At that time, Chief Opposition Whip Lakshman Kiriella asked Premadasa whether they were going to attend the traditional Tea Party. Rajitha Senaratne said the SJB should attend the occasion.
A majority of the SJB MPs had said the party should attend the tea party, except a few who were listening to Premadasa’s speech. MPs Harsha de Silva and Eran Wickramaratne also said they should attend the occasion.
However, Premadasa did not stop his speech.
Then Kiriella left saying he was going to the tea party and others can join if a decision is reached. After that Harsha de Silva, Mayantha Dissanayake, Gayantha Karunatileka, Eran Wickramaratne and Mano Ganesan also left. Only a handful MPs including Ranjith Maddumabandara, Thalatha Atukorale and Rohini Wijeratne remained with Premadasa.
It is reported that Thalatha Atukorale stressed that the party should attend the tea party despite political differences and Premadasa should not behave like a child. Both Atukorale and Rohini Wijeratne left after that.