UNP and SJB kick-start talks to work together

By Easwaran Rutnam

The United National Party (UNP) and the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) have kicked off key talks to explore the possibility of working together.

SJB MP Harin Fernando told Daily Mirror that he met UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and discussed opportunities to work together.

“I met Ranil Wickremesinghe. I told my leader I’m going to meet him because he also wanted to have a chat and to see how we can work together. Our General Secretary has opened up a conversation,” Fernando said.

He said that Wickremesinghe had requested the SJB to have talks with UNP Deputy Leader Ruwan Wijewardena and work out an arrangement.

“I think Ruwan has an ideal opportunity because he’s young. He worked with us. We have been together as a team,” Fernando said.

However, Wickremesinghe ruled out a possible merger between the UNP and SJB. When contacted, a spokesman told Daily Mirror after speaking to Wickremesinghe that there will not be a merger.

Instead, Wickremesinghe said he is open to working with the SJB on key issues. “We need to get all of them on one platform because we are fighting a regime that is very difficult. So if you are to fight against corruption, malpractices, we need to come into a common platform, leaving our political differences aside,” Fernando said.