UPFA stooping to new depths amidst declining voter confidence: Karu
Tuesday, 30 December 2014 01:41
The United National Party is concerned about the high incidence of election violence. The main Opposition notes that the current situation clearly proves there is a breakdown in the country’s law and order.Chairman of the UNP Leadership Council Karu Jayasuriya says the ruling party is losing the confidence of voters and has stooped to a low level of political campaigning.“President Mahinda Rajapaksa heads the Commonwealth which is known as the guardian of democracy. President Rajapaksa should set an example to others. This is disgraceful behaviour from the part of the Sri Lankan authorities,” asserts Jayasuriya. Following are excerpts:Q: Is it true that representatives of presidential candidates requested the Election Commissioner to postpone the election due to extreme weather conditions in the country?A: No. There is no truth in that. Several areas in the country are affected by floods but I feel there is plenty of time for the election and hopefully things will improve during those two weeks.
What is important is to compensate those flood-affected victims. It is the duty of the Government to help those innocent people. Our political leaders in those areas are also involved in assisting people affected by extreme weather.
Q: There was a notable increase in election-related violence during the past few days. Your comments?A: We are very concerned about this trend. This is why we have been emphasising that the police must be active and law and order must be maintained. Unfortunately, in some areas provincial political leaders have taken over police stations. The Wanduramba incident is a classic example.
It is a joke that a man with a warrant can leave the country like that. That is an insult to the entire machinery. How can the country run like this? We heard that a person who is having a warrant is attending musical shows in the presence of police officers and no action is taken. These incidents clearly show that there is a break down in the country’s law and order. The country has gone to such a low level.
Q: How hopeful are you that the final result of the election will be genuine and not manoeuvred in favour of the ruling party? A: We have done surveys. All those surveys have clearly indicated a comfortable win for Maithripala Sirisena. In all our meetings we see a large number of youth and women. This is a new phenomenon. This gives a clear message. We are hopeful that the end result will be favourable for us.
Q: What are your remarks about the recently-held postal voting? A: According to reports we have received, postal voting was very favourable for the Opposition. This is why we say we are very hopeful about the final result.
Q: What is the latest on the alleged agreement publicised by Tissa Attanayake? A: With confidence I can tell you that there is no such agreement. Everything was transparent. We love our country. We are only talking about abolishing the executive presidency and bringing good governance within a 100-day period. Then we have to operate a political party.
This is a very low level of political campaigning. The Government is losing the confidence of voters. So they have started character assassination aimed at leaders of the Opposition. They are fabricating all sorts of lies.
When they initiated this, we heard about it, we too get information. A couple of days ago, the Election Commissioner got some information and the police seized a 16-page document against the UNP. It was revealed that the order was given from Temple Trees. What else can you say?
Our President is the Chairman of the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth is the guardian of democracy. He has to set an example to others. This is disgraceful behaviour on the part of the Sri Lankan authorities.
Q: How would you describe the manifesto presented by President Rajapaksa? A: We have gone through it. Of course there is a difference between President Rajapaksa’s manifesto and ours. We have a 100-day program. We have 2,400 hours and within that period we have specifically mentioned dates. For the first time dates have been given to complete a certain task. Leaders of political parties were involved in the preparation of this document. We sought assistance from experts, not only local but also very prominent individuals living abroad. People abroad contacted us and gave very valuable views. Ours is very specific and different from Mahinda Chinthana, which has some 100-odd pages.