Harin vows to become royal pain to ruling UPFA in Uva PC

Thursday, 25 September 2014 00:39 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Dharisha Bastians The UNP’s popular chief ministerial candidate Harin Fernando has vowed to become a royal pain to the ruling UPFA inside the Uva Provincial Council that was elected last weekend. Fernando told his first post-poll press conference in Colombo yesterday that between the UNP’s 13 members and the JVP’s two members, including its popular member Samantha Vidyaratne, the Opposition within the provincial assembly would become a force for the Government to reckon with. He pledged to take up issues of corruption and stand steadfastly on the side of the people who had delivered what he called a ‘historic mandate’ to the UNP. “When I left this provincial council to go to Parliament, Shashendra Rajapaksa was very happy about my departure,” Fernando said, referring to his rival in the race for the post of chief minister in the Province. Fernando claimed that the strength of the Opposition campaign had already shaken the ruling alliance. “Before a single ballot was cast, the people received a 25% cut in electricity prices. If we continue like this, the Government may finally mend its ways. Unfortunately it will be too late,” the young politician told reporters at Sirikotha last afternoon. He thanked voters for their confidence in him, asserting that the heroic Uva people had rebelled once again. “I know that I am the chief minister in people’s hearts. I will try to do my best for the people with whatever resources I can muster,” he pledged. In the wake of the UNP’s gains in the region, Fernando explained that other Opposition parties must come together with the main Opposition to take the fight to the Government. “All these other parties should join us and it must be on our terms. We are the true alternative,” he said. Fernando called on Government members to cease the post-election violence in the Uva Province. “The terror and attacks against the Opposition and its members are systematic,” he charged. He urged Government Ministers allegedly mobilising the violent mobs to take on someone their own size. “Come and fight with me. Don’t attack my supporters,” he said.

 ‘I made a start; baton passed to Sajith’: Harin

Harin Fernando has urged the party’s new Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa to take the party’s electoral gains in Uva far and wide in order to bring about a revival of the main Opposition party. “I have made a start. Now the baton has been passed to Sajith Premadasa. I hope he will be able to optimise these gains in every corner of the island,” Fernando told his first post-election press conference in Colombo yesterday. Fernando said that some factions of the media were intent on using Premadasa as a pawn to destroy the party. “If these efforts continue in the wake of the unity and cooperation that has come to this party after our victories in Uva, we will have no choice but to stand against that,” he warned.  

 Karu is an unsung hero: Harin

UNP Leadership Council Chairman Karu Jayasuriya is an unsung hero in the party’s successful Uva campaign, Harin Fernando told reporters at Sirikotha yesterday. Asked if he believed the Leadership Council should remain in place after a series of appointments were made outside of the Council at the Working Committee meeting on Tuesday, Fernando said the body performed an important role within the UNP. “Karu Jayasuriya is really the unsung hero in this whole story. He deserves a prominent place within the UNP. The Leadership Council has important roles to play in the nominations process and disciplinary processes within the party,” he explained.  

 Harin declines NYF Chair; hails Ruwan’s offer

The United National Party (UNP) Uva Province chief ministerial candidate Harin Fernando said yesterday that he would not accept MP Ruwan Wijewardene’s proposal to appoint him as Chairman of the UNP National Youth Front (NYF). “I’m truly honoured by his gesture but I don’t want to be NYF Chairman by ousting Ruwan. He should stay as the Chairman and I will always help him. He has already launched many programmes through the NYF with an upcoming general election in mind,” he said and added that Wijewardene was an honest politician with good qualities. Fernando said Wijewardene would also have to give up his membership in the Leadership Council if he resigns as NYF Chairman. “This is a huge sacrifice. I rejected his suggestion when he informed me of the decision yesterday. He has taken the decision even without informing the National Leader. No one knew about the decision until the last minute,” Harin told a news conference at Sirikotha.