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Harin claims presidency easier for UNP if Gota contests


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UNP Propaganda Unit Chief and Telecommunications, Digital Infrastructure and Foreign Employment Minister Harin Fernando yesterday claimed it would be easier for the UNP if former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa contested the 2020 presidential election.

He told a news conference that the UNP would welcome Rajapaksa’s candidacy because there were many things to talk about. 

“We have many things to tell the people about the former defence secretary and we will do so at the right time,” Fernando told journalists. “Mr. Rajapaksa always does things through militarisation. Anyone who likes it can embrace militarisation.”

He said many had failed to understand the mature democracy that prevailed in the country. “Mature democracy is the reason why people cannot understand the truth. Many think that this government is timid and has no backbone.

“The President and the Prime Minister are attacked on Facebook. Some think that both of them have become jokers, there is mudslinging everywhere. The media can fabricate news. These are all features of a mature democracy,” he said, adding that even the head of state could be criticised in a mature democracy.

“That mature democracy was born only after 2015,” he said. “There are two kinds of laws - the laws which people take into their hands and laws enforced according to the book. We have not taken the laws into our hands. We have enforced the laws as it is in the book and have allowed the Judiciary to deal with the wrongdoers. There is a delay on the part of the Judiciary as cases are postponed. One could get things done when he takes the law into his hands while when you enforce the laws according to the book it takes time. When law enforcement gets delayed one concludes that this government is a failure. New laws have been approved in Parliament to set up special courts to hear cases daily. When these new courts are established everyone will be able to see how the wrongdoers are penalised.” 


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