Start packing your bags: UNP tells Rajapaksa regime

Monday, 22 September 2014 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Claiming a moral victory in the Uva Province, the United National Party has asked the Government to begin packing its bags after Saturday’s results proved its popularity was on the wane. Flushed with success after its first positive election in several years, the UNP challenged President Mahinda Rajapaksa to hold the presidential polls as scheduled.

Celebrating Harin

UNP’s Chief Ministerial candidate Harin Fernando along with UNP MPs show the popular sign that promoted Harin at the Uva Provincial Election concluded on Saturday. Harin emerged at the top winning the highest preferential votes amounting to 173,799. From left: Harsha de Silva, Eran Wickremaratne, Ruwan Wijewardena, Chandrani Bandara, Rosy Senanayake and Ajith Perera - Pic by Pradeep Pathirana “The United National Party hopes President Rajapaksa will not run scared of a presidential election now. We challenge this regime to hold the election as planned and face the truth about the chaos and misery that nine years of Rajapaksa governance has wrought upon the people,” the main opposition said in a statement the morning after the election. The UNP said the election results from the Uva Provincial poll was a rejection of the regime’s policies of enriching a few while “mere crumbs are thrown at the masses.” The opposition said President Rajapaksa had withheld the Uva poll until the very end, to be able to project strength ahead of presidential polls likely in early 2015. “The Uva Province was perceived to be UPFA’s strongest region. It was to be a spectacular win, a message to the rest of Sri Lanka and the world about the unshaken bastions of Rajapaksa power,” the statement said. “Today, the Government has got its answer. The message from the historic region of Uva-Wellassa to the Rajapaksa regime could not be clearer,” the UNP said. “The people have had enough of this Government’s lies. They have had enough of its corruption. They have tired of its nepotism and self-serving rule. The people have rejected the lawlessness and impunity perpetrated by the incumbent regime. The time has come for the Rajapaksa regime to start packing its bags. Their reign of terror and corruption is nearing its end. We know now that democracy will win the day. Uva-Wellassa has proved this by the way they voted in Saturday’s election.” the UNP statement said. “The first salvos of a freedom struggle that eventually brought down imperialist rule in Sri Lanka were heard in the far corners of Uva-Wellassa nearly 200 years ago,” the UNP statement said. “Resonating that same heroic spirit, that yearning for freedom and justice, the march towards the ultimate defeat of the dictatorial Rajapaksa regime has begun in the Uva Province,” it noted.

 UPFA hails hails significant victory in Uva

  • Expresses confidence it could face and win national elections
Government Ministers have hailed the UPFA victory in the Uva Province, saying the results of Saturday’s election would serve to further stabilise the ruling regime. Addressing a press conference yesterday, Minister Susil Premajayanth expressed confidence that the UPFA could face and win national elections after the Uva polls. Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said the results in the Uva Province proved that the people still had immense confidence in the UPFA Government. North Western Province Chief Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera who also addressed the press briefing told journalists that the Badulla District was a UNP stronghold. “It is clear that foreign countries are behind the UNP victory,” Jayasekera said, in a Freudian slip. “These countries badly wanted the UNP to win in the Badulla District. UNP propaganda material was transported in NGO vehicles,” the former UNP parliamentarian said. UNP Hambantota District MP Namal Rajapaksa congratulated his cousin Shashendra on his official Twitter account. “Congratulations @ShasheRajapaksa aiya on your tremendous victory in the Uva Province,” Namal Rajapaksa tweeted.

 Won but not enough says JVP

Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), which bagged two slots in the Uva Provincial Council at Saturday’s polls, said the ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) suffered the worst electoral setback this time though it won by a  narrow margin. Addressing a post-election press conference, JVP leader MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake said the UPFA, as the ruling party, declared this election as a   launching point for its political program targeting the next Presidential election,   speculated to be announced either in January or March next year. Dissanayake said the government went to polls in the Uva Province, as the last of a series of such Provincial Council elections, in the hope of securing the highest victory as a morale boost for its political program for the presidential election. “However, the UPFA received the narrowest victory at this election. In Badulla, the opposition has outnumbered the government in the total votes polled. This is an indication of the downfall of the government. People have shown their readiness to unseat the government,” he said.    “In total, the UPFA’s vote base has fallen from 72% to 51%. In Moneragala, it got 81% in 2009, and the percentage dropped to 58%. This is despite the excessive abuse of State resources. The government maximised the abuse of public servants ahead of the election.” Commenting on his party’s performance, he said it could win two seats in the council.  “Last time, we had only one seat. Now, we have two seats. We did not have a representation in Moneragala last time.  There is one this time,” he said. However, he admitted that the party could not win enough seats to be a decisive factor in running the council.