Sajith congratulates GR, steps down as UNP Dep. Leader

Monday, 18 November 2019 01:30 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Sajith Premadasa with Jalani Premadasa


  • Says humbled by faith people placed in him
  • Says peaceful conduct of poll result of democratic gains and institutional reforms of last five years
  • To reflect on future political career and “where my life will take me hereafter”
  • Says he remains bound to people of SL and will remain their faithful servant


While conceding defeat, National Democratic Front (NDF) candidate Sajith Premadasa yesterday congratulated president-elect Gotabaya Rajapaksa and expressed his heartfelt gratitude to all citizens who voted for him, from all corners of the country.

“I am humbled that you placed your faith in me. Your support has been a fountain of strength throughout my 26-year-long political career. I also wish to place on record my gratitude to all those who worked tirelessly on my campaign. My family and I will never forget your sacrifice and dedication,” he said in the statement.

In a special statement issued hours before the final election results as announced, Premadasa said that at the conclusion of a hard-fought and spirited election campaign, it was his privilege to honour the decision of the people and congratulate Gotabaya Rajapaksa on his election as the seventh President of Sri Lanka.

He also announced he had decided to step down as Deputy Leader of the United National Party (UNP) with immediate effect in light of the decision by the electorate.

Premadasa said that the conduct of the election in the most peaceful manner was a result of the democratic gains and institutional reforms that had taken place over the last five years that empowered an independent Elections Commission and restored the rule of law.

“My appeal to the incoming President is that he takes this process forward and strengthens and protects the democratic institutions and values that enabled his peaceful election as the seventh President of Sri Lanka. I also urge Mr. Rajapaksa to ensure that the post-election environment is peaceful, and that no citizen or NDF party supporter is persecuted or harmed for their role in supporting my candidacy.”

Premadasa said for 26 years as an active politician, he had made every effort to serve the people in his home district of Hambantota wherever and whenever they needed assistance.

“It has been my privilege to serve as Housing Minister in this Government for five years, prioritising the creation of a home-owning society by 2025. I hope the people understand that these were sincere, heartfelt efforts to uplift the lives of my fellow citizens,” he said.

Premadasa added that in the coming weeks, in consultation with all those who had supported his presidential bid, the people who had stood by him through his political journey and his loved ones, he would reflect on the future of his political career and “where my life will take me hereafter”.

“Bound to the people of Sri Lanka, I remain their faithful servant, today and always,” he added.

Sajith lost in his home electorate Tissamaharama in addition to performing poorly in traditionally UNP strongholds though in Colombo polling stations he garnered massive support.  


UNF grapples with future course of action