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Sajith confident Sirisena will not betray 2015 mandate


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Housing and Construction Minister Sajith Premadasa yesterday called to mind the great sacrifice President Maithripala Sirisena made by coming forward as the common candidate in 2015 at a time when no else was willing to do so and putting country before party.

“As the General Secretary of the SLFP, he loved his Party immensely but he loved this country more. He saw the destructive rule going on in the country, the violence, the State terrorism. He grasped the growing unrest among the people and due to his love for the country he left the SLFP and accepted the extremely dangerous role of common candidate,” Premadasa said.

In his comments made at the ceremony to mark the opening of the 136th model village at Anuradhapura, the UNP Deputy Leader praised President Sirisena and said that there was a need to remind the country repeatedly of the courageous step Sirisena took in 2015.

“He (Maithripala Sirisena) accepted the role of common candidate, having seen clearly the fate that had befallen Sarath Fonseka who saved the country and the fate that befell (then Chief Justice) Shirani Bandaranayake and seeing clearly that if he suffered a setback in the elections he would certainly be six feet under. He did so at a time when no one else was willing to come forward,” Premadasa said.

He said that with the victory of President Sirisena, the forces of racism and those seeking to divide people on religious line were defeated. “In a country where people’s memories are short, these are things people must be reminded of repeatedly. We must appreciate him.”

He said members of the UNP were forever in debt to Maithripala Sirisena for the sacrifices he had made.

The Minister said some disgruntled forces who were out of power were craving a caretaker government. “They haven’t forgotten the taste of living in the President’s House and at Temple Trees. They are seeing daydreams of a return to the lives of luxury they once lived. They want to return to a time when people were shot dead like at Rathupaswala, so State terrorism can raise its head again.”

Premadasa said that he confident that brave leader Sirisena would never betray his mandate to fulfil the two-cent dreams of some for a caretaker government.

“Anyone can talk to him. Those who wanted to bury him six feet under are talking to him now. That is democracy. That is how a civilised society is. If they were in power, you would have to meet in the cemetery or six feet under but under Yahapalanaya you can meet anyone without fear,” he said.

The Minister also had harsh words for those who begged the President to appoint them through the National List, having lost the elections and failing to discharge their duties as ministers, and were now craving a caretaker government.

“Our President listens to them quietly. He can see what they are up to. He knows it’s not to build the country, build houses or to distribute land that they want to be in power. He can understand that they once again want to take the country back to the Hitler era, Mussolini era, an authoritarian era. The person who came forward at risk to his life and that of his family for the sake of democracy and for the country will never betray his mandate. That is certain,” he said.

The Minister urged the people to follow the ongoing political theatrics but not be fooled by talk of a caretaker government. “The presidential election and the parliamentary elections are near. You can choose between the destructive forces or a country where you are free to express your views without fear, hold as many pada yatras as you want, hold protests and live within a system that safeguards the rights of the people. This is super class democracy,” he said.


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