Deputer Leader of UNP Sajith Premadasa visited the Health Ministry on the 14th and met Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne, sources said.
Sajith Premadasa has asked Rajitha Senaratne to directly support him for the presidential candidacy, but the health minister has pointed out that Sajith Premadasa is not yet mature enough to join the national leadership.
“I still don't view you as a national leader, because the UNP stands for all nationalities not just one. Our foundation is Buddhism, but we treat all with equality.
We've been block voted by Tamils, Muslims and people from other nationalities. The way I see it, you haven't done anything to make them feel satisfied.
You have completely ignored them, only Mangala from those around you has a connection with them. If you become a national leader you can't leave other people behind. You have to deal with them," Senaratne told Sajith.
How Father committed to the Party
Minister Senaratne told the deputy leader that his father, Ranasinghe Premadasa, had made a tremendous commitment to the UNP.
"He was a man who faced the challenges with great courage when the party was once collapsed, in a time you weren't even born. You probably didn't know what your father was doing. Ask those who knew him," he said.
He reminded Sajith how the party was saved by Ranasinghe Premadasa in 1956 together with V.A. Sugathadasa, Sir John, and Dudley, and how he never left the party even when he lost over N.M. Perera who contested from Yatiyantota.
"You haven't suffered half of the old man's misery. You're looking for a shortcut to leadership. Don't do that, Sajith. You're still 52. You're a young man. There's a lot of time ahead of you," he said. "Don't take bait thrown by other people. First you have to prove to the people that you're a true leader. None of that can be achieved through media or posters."
"You haven't stepped out of your seat. You're not going anywhere for party work of meeting. How can you be a leader?" Senaratne questioned him.
The health minister also emphasized that one of these days people who stand beside Sajith would stab behind his back, sources said.
"I'd support the day you correct your errors"
According to sources, Senaratne also told Sajith that he would give his fullest blessings on the day he tend to correct his mistakes. Upon response, Sajith told that if Rajitha Senaratne had stayed in his father's Cabinet, the efforts could have been remarkable.
"Not only your father, even with you. If you tend to correct your mistakes, I can serve by your side no problem. Study your father," Senaratne said in response.
Advice Kadiragamar gave to Anura Bandaranayake
Upon Sajith's departure from the Health Ministry, the health minister exampled a history lesson.
"In 1994, Lakshman Kadirgamar gave an advice to Anura Bandaranaike. 'Before you study the world, study your father. There are too many things to be learned from the Father. Make your Father a Light in Your Life.. That's the best advice I can give.' But Anura never understood what he meant. He died prematurely and passed away.
That's the same advice I have to give to you. Study your father. Learn from his efforts. Shed his light into path to your career, otherwise you'd be but a bait for someone else's political agenda.