Sri Lankan Prime Minister and leader of the UNP, Ranil Wickremesinghe, in a meeting with journalists and academics at the Temple Trees on Tuesday asserted he would continue as the Prime Minister if his presidential candidate, Sajith Premadasa wins the Presidential Elections next month.
He firmly announced that if his party gains victory, Sajith would function as the President while he would function as the prime minister in a new government.
Now for the past several days, Mr. Premadasa, who is drafting all his campaign statements based on what SLPP Candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa says, has challenged Mr. Rajapaksa for a debate. He and his members from the UNP, facing severe insecurity after failing the nation for 4 years, have been calling for debates but have chosen to ignore that their party obviously continues to fall apart.
While Mr. Premadasa has no clear vision to rule the country and has been making baseless statements when going up on public stage, he fails to realize that his House is in an utter mess. His party has to date, delayed their election manifesto, not announced a potential prime ministerial candidate, has threatened to sack his own party members if they question him about it and think the voter is a joke who will continue to be misled by this failing government.
From day one, the UNF have been in dire straits. At first they were unable to reach an agreement on their Presidential candidate with a severe power struggle ensuing within their party and when they did, now they are unable to decide on a prime ministerial candidate with Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe making today’s announcement obviously much to the surprise of Mr. Premadasa and his party too.
Infact in today’s rally in Badulla, in order to immediately cut Hon. Wickremesinghe’s morning announcement, Mr Premadasa said he had only decided on one ministerial candidate in his government and that is of Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka who will be appointed as the Minister of Defense and Law and order. No other position including the prime ministerial position had been decided upon, raising serious questions on whether Mr Premadasa and Hon. Wickremesinghe are even communicating with each other.
Furthermore, MPs such as Dr. Harsha De Silva, in a media interview, said recently that a future prime minister would be a ‘young’ person which clearly shows that Hon. Wickremesinghe and his lot seem to be living in a fool’s paradise and it is clear proof that the party is far away from being on the same boat.
Further more, the country is just two and a half weeks away from the Presidential polls, and the voters are still awaiting the UNFs manifesto details. I am certain and so are the voters, that his manifesto once again will be drafted based only on the pledges made by Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
Across the globe, any individual can be a candidate, but it takes a true leader to take the country forward. From day one, Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksa have taken the SLPP forward with a firm vision. Our presidential and prime ministerial candidates were never a mystery to anyone. Our election manifesto was released well ahead of time so that the voter, who is above all, has time to study our pledges and either speak on it further with us, or know what to expect when we win next month’s polls.
Mr. Rajapaksa’s election manifesto is practical and realistic and offers relief to all sectors as we all suffered these past four years under the failing rule of the UNF.
Mr. Rajapaksa has pledged above all, to ensure national security which is of utmost importance following the Easter Sunday terror attacks which killed over 250 people, hampering our economy, tourism, etc and causing a major rift among innocent communities in this island. Under Mr. Rajapaksa no individual or group will be allowed to support extremism which will pose a threat on all communities.
‘We will not permit any form of religious, racial or other extremism to take root in our land, thereby, ensuring that every citizen of whatever race or religious belief is able to live without any fear or suspicion and in harmony with each other,’ Mr Rajapaksa’s election manifesto reads.
For a true leader to take the country forward, his pledges need to be realistic and practical to implement in the short term and long term so that its citizens can continue to reap immediate benefits.
Unlike the UNF, who have been drafting pledges and budget proposals which they have not implemented to date, other than increasing the taxes and the cost of living, it is a surprise that they continue to mislead the voters even after four years. Even four years on, the UNF has not fulfilled a majority of their pledges outlined in their 2015 manifesto and budget proposals have only vanished into thin air.
This only happens when a candidate and a party have no respect for a voter, and without this core value, how does the UNF think it could function.
The time has now dawned upon us for a change. Lets make that change and vote for a true leader, who will work for this mother land and take it forward for the benefit of us and our future generations.