By Asiri Fernando
The Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) yesterday said their primary aim of protecting the public’s wellbeing had been met by the outcome of the Supreme Court’s decision yesterday, and the party was ready to face the Parliamentary Election, provided public health concerns were adequately addressed first.
The Supreme Court yesterday refused to grant leave on all applications filed challenging the decision by the Elections Commission to hold General Elections on 20 June and against the dissolution of Parliament. Responding to the verdict, SJB General Secretary Ranjith Madduma Bandara stated that the party’s appeal not to hold the elections until the COVID-19 epidemic was controlled had been achieved.
“We didn’t want to hold elections endangering the public wellbeing, now that is successful. Had the election been held on 20 June, the situation could have been very dangerous. However, now we know the election will be held later, once the epidemic is contained, and we are prepared for it,” Bandara said, pointing out that the matter did not need to go this far if the President had responded favourably to the Election Commission’s request to delay the elections.
“We were thinking of the safety of the people, and we managed to get the election pushed back a bit till the COVID-19 situation is better controlled. The Government was thinking of fortifying their power base and not about the wellbeing of the public,” he opined outside the Supreme Court complex after the verdict.
Newly appointed SJB Deputy Secretary and former UNP Parliamentarian Sujeewa Senasinghe, issuing a press release, called on the Election Commission to hold elections promptly, once a conducive environment evolved with the public health crisis controlled and schools reopened.
The National Election Commission is expected to meet today to discuss the verdict and plan a new date for the General Election.