Tuesday, 2 December 2014 00:47
Former Govt. Minister hailscommon candidate as being untainted by corruption
Reveals how Sirisena resisted attempts to buy him over when Health Ministry was passing law on pictorial warnings on cigarette packs
Condemns ‘family corruption’
I want to see democracy and rule of law established in my lifetime, says Gamini’s son
Still undecided about rejoining the UNP
Standing against ‘family corruption’ and expressing faith in common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena, former Government Minister Navin Dissanayake vowed yesterday to fight tooth and nail to re-establish democracy and abolish the presidential system in Sri Lanka.
Dissanayake, whose security was withdrawn by the Government soon after he submitted his resignation, arrived at the UNP headquarters, Sirikotha, at noon yesterday.
He hailed Sirisena, who will be the main opposition challenger to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, as being a ‘clean’ politician untainted by corruption and monetary deals.
“We all know the secrets about the Tobacco Bill. We know how Health Minister Sirisena resisted attempts to buy him over while he fought to have this bill passed. I know for a fact that he cannot be purchased,” Dissanayake said.
“I have great faith in him as a political leader, I am certain we will be able to abolish the presidency,” the son of late UNP Leader Gamini Dissanayake said.
Dissanayake charged that the country had had enough of ‘family corruption’.
He also expressed faith in UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, who he claimed had no record of corruption during a 40-year political journey.
“Ranil Wickremesinghe and I had major disagreements. But I can say this in all conscience. In 40 years of public life, he never stole a red cent,” Dissanayake asserted.
The public could have faith in Wickremesinghe if he is elected to future office to lead the country, Dissanayake said, because he would ensure transparent governance.
Navin-Sajith patch up old quarrels
UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa, who welcomed Navin Dissanayake to the Sirikotha yesterday, said he was willing to put the past aside and work together in the best interest of the country.
Premadasa welcomed Dissanayake’s support for the common opposition considering the role played by his father and Dissanayake’s father for the country in the past.
He said that while at one point there were differences of opinion between Ranasinghe Premadasa and Gamini Dissanayake, he was ready to put the past aside and work with Navin Dissanayake for the sake of the people and the country. (Colombo Gazette)
While wishing the incumbent President well, Dissanayake said his campaign for re-election was based on posters and cut-outs but had nothing to do with the people.
“It is a campaign that is going over people’s heads. It is not effective. We can already see that,” he said.
Dissanayake scoffed at President Rajapaksa’s threat about files on his ministers.
“I challenge him to release any file he has on me within 24 hours. If he has files why does he keep them? That itself is a major problem. It means you are keeping them to hold people hostage - to pressure them,” he charged.
The former Minister said people were staying back in the Government because of fear and intimidation.
“But I think as time goes on more people will crossover,” he said. (DB)