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Tissa Attanayake willing to rejoin UNP

Former United National Party (UNP) General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said yesterday that he was willing to rejoin the UNP if everybody was willing to respect each other.

There are a large number of issues which have to be discussed with the Party hierarchy before rejoining the UNP, he said, but stopped short of naming the issues.

Responding to a question as to whether his decision to rejoin the Party was on a condition that he will be reinstated as the UNP General Secretary and also provided with a Cabinet portfolio, he said: "Positions are not important, but there are intra- party issues which have to be sorted out".

He also pointed out that the UNP, as a party, had deteriorated at grass roots level and that there was much to be done in that area. "A great effort has to be made in order to rejuvenate the Party, but I am not going to come back to shoulder a load of rubbish.

"These are some of the issues which I want to consider even before I decide on returning," he said. He also stressed that the incumbent UNP General Secretary Kabir Hashim had also implored him to return to the Party. Attanayake was Minister of Central Regional Development during the UNP Government of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in 2001-2004.