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May Day 2016 proved UNP remains strongest political force: Kabir

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UNP General Secretary Kabir Hashim in a statement yesterday said the 2016 May Day proved that the UNP remains the 

strongest political force in the country.

The full statement issued by Hashim is as follows:

Although it was not an election related event, this year’s May Day was about the major political parties demonstrating their respective political strengths and here, once again, it was clearly established that the largest political party in the country, the United National Party remains the strongest political force in the country.sdg

Hundreds of thousands of party loyalists came to Colombo from all parts of the country to celebrate International Workers’ Day, following a general appeal to the citizens of Sri Lanka.  It was clearly the largest gathering of people for an event such as this in remembered history.  As the General Secretary of the party, I am justifiably proud as well as humbled by the fact that such a large number of people cast aside religious, ethnic and other differences to join hands with the United National Party on this occasion.  Clearly, all credit is due to the party loyalists who braved the vagaries of the weather as well as other obstacles to demonstrate to the entire nation the strength of their party.  I take this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude to them all. 

The UNP declared that this was the May Day Rally of the people who made sacrifices.  It was no mere slogan.  In it is ingrained the truth of all the sacrifices made by the party’s leadership as well as rank and file throughout its long history.  It was the incomparable D. S. Senanayake who succeeded in uniting all communities so that we could win independence in 1948.  We pledge, solemnly, to uphold the example of that great man and the splendid principles he stood for.   I cannot reiterate enough the arduous nature of the path we’ve had to walk over the past few years.  We, as a party, made immense sacrifices, all for the betterment of the country.  At the crucial presidential election in January 2015, we put aside the legitimate right to nominate a candidate and opted to support the common candidacy of Maithripala Sirisena.  The leader of the party as well as all activists, right down to the grassroots, worked tirelessly to forge an unprecedented victory for the people and for democracy.  

Even thereafter, when the General Election was held, the UNP demonstrated that it was a party that was ever willing to make sacrifices for the larger good of the overall citizenry and the country.  Although we could have formed a government we opted to sacrifice the opportunity and went for a consensual arrangement that gave the country its first national government.  

It was this spirit of sacrifice that was endorsed and celebrated by all those who gathered at Campbell Park on May Day.  The greatest strength behind this sacrificial spirit and the dedication and determination that naturally go with it, is none other than the party’s loyalists.  We recognise and applaud this.

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