Some bidding adieu to politics

By Asif Fuard

Several members of the last Parliament have decided to bid adieu to politics some for personal reasons, some because of poor health or having achieved their political aspirations seeing the need to pave the way for a likely successor.

Among the most senior parliamentarians who are quitting active politics is Kurunegala district UNP MP Amara Piyaseeli Ratnayake who first entered Parliament in 1977. She told the Sunday Times that her decision not to contest was made in order to set the stage for her son Manjula Bandara who is a provincial council member to secure a place in Parliament at the upcoming general election.

Ven. Uduwe Dhammaloka Thera Ven. Kotapola Amarakitti Thera

“My time has come to step down so now I’m letting my son contest. It’s time to take a break and I hope to spend more time with my family. I’m aging and I am not in the best of health. I believe my son would do a good job. We need to give a chance to the younger generation now,” she said.

Two monk MPs from the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) who entered Parliament in 2004 are also stepping down.

They are Colombo District JHU MP Ven. Uduwe Dhammaloka Thera who said that since his political aspiration which was to resurrect Buddhism in the country has been achieved he has decided to step down from politics. “I entered Parliament when people were losing faith in Buddhism. I fulfilled my political aspirations and solved many problems that were faced by Buddhists in the country. Since my objective has been achieved, I have decided not to contest or get involved in politics,” he said.

A spokesman for Ven. Kotapola Amarakitti Thera, another JHU MP who is also saying goodbye to politics said the monk MP had decided to quit as he had played his part by serving the people and had decided that the time was right to leave.

Former TNA Trincoamlee district MP K. Thurairatnasingham said he wanted to take a break from contesting another election

“ I have made a personal decision not to contest the election but I will be actively involved in politics and will play a major part to ensure that my party does well in the Trincomalee district,” said Mr. Thurairatnasingham who is also the Deputy General Secretary of the TNA.

Hemakumara Nanayakkara Amara Piyaseeli Ratnayaka Larrine Perera

“ I had the privilege of representing Parliament from my district. Now it’s time to give someone else an opportunity,” he said.

Former Galle district MP and Agriculture Minister Hemakumara Nanayakkara said his decision to quit politics was on advice from his doctors.

“My doctors have advised me to stop political work due to health concerns. I suffer from an irregular heart beat and it could be dangerous for me to exert myself too much. Instead I will now be acting as an advisor to the President,” he said. Former UNP Parliamentarian Larrine Perera who represented the Puttalam district said she decided not to contest due to her age and also to give a chance to her son Niroshan who is currently the main organizer for the Wennappuwa electorate to enter Parliament.

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