UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya yesterday exposed various ills of the Government, its ulterior motives in going for Provincial Council elections as well the failure to restore law and order in the country.
“The attempt of the Government has come to light, to win the forthcoming Provincial Council Election by whatever means and to show that the masses are with them,” Jayasuriya told a press conference yesterday.
“The Government shamefully utilises state resources to the maximum and openly violates election laws, State vehicles, more and more helicopters, official bungalows are being used unlimitedly for election campaigning. Helicopters are being used like personal property. Use of Government helicopters by the powerful persons in the Government even to travel short distances creates a bad precedent. They use helicopters even to attend sports festivals. This helicopter mania is wide spread. It was reported that action is being taken to purchase another 14 numbers. MI 171 helicopters through a foreign loan. What is the need to purchase such a large number of helicopters,” he queried.
“Though we are able to obtain loans after defeating terrorism, do we have to waste money in this manner?” he further questioned.
According to Jayasuriya, people are clever enough not to accept when the Government says that the helicopters are being purchased to provide transport to tourists. “From what we see and the information we receive, these helicopters are for those who are in power. There is no limit in wasting public funds. There is no feeling about the decline of the economy in the country. The Government adopts a ‘don’t care’ attitude. PAFFREL, CaFFE and CMEV exposed daily election-related irregularities. On many occasions the Commissioner General of Elections and the Inspector General of Police are being rendered helpless due to political interference.
“When there is chaos in the country, the Government starts attacking the Opposition through its trumpet, the State media and resort to mean political propaganda which is not seen in the countries where decent political practices are in operation.”
The UNP MP also said that the present provincial council elections is the first one of a package of elections introduced by the Government. “The Government conducts these elections not for the benefit of the masses but for the survival of the Government. The date of the election is decided by the astrologers. The Commissioner of Elections is compelled to conduct elections to suit these dates,” Jayasuriya said.
“We know that the Commissioner of Elections is recognised as an honest officer. Due to the unlimited power centred round the President as a result of the 18th Amendment, the Commissioner’s hands are tied,” opined the UNP MP.
He also alleged that the present Government resorts to these actions whilst making temporary solutions. “We need not go further, let us look at areas such as education, export sector, rule of law,” he added.
“The school system has crumbled. Those students who sit the Advanced Level examination are not sure about their future. The students those who sat for the Advanced Level examination have become young men and women with shattered expectations. They are in the process of filing petitions before the Courts seeking justice. The Chief Justice has queried why the order given by the Supreme Court regarding Z score was not implemented.
“Ministers of the Government challenge the rule of law. It was revealed recently that the Police could not arrest Julumptiye Amare although many warrants were issued for his arrest. Even today we hear about Police officers who bring disrepute to the Police, though they are bound to protect the law and unarmed civilians. It was reported that a child who came to watch a procession was abused by a Police officer. There is nothing that the Government can tell the farmers of the North Central Province; same with the vegetable growers and dairy farmers. During the last Provincial Council elections, on behalf of the party, i visited all the places where contests were held,” Jayasuriya said.
“Although they are free from terrorism, we witnessed that the people of the north and east have not gained any new freedom. Also they are without any hope for the future. This is what they conveyed to us,” he added.
Focusing on the south, the UNP MP said situation in the south is not different. A port was built in Hambantota, but a ship arriving at Hambantota Port has become such a rare occurrence.
This news appeared on the first page of the newspapers. In the meantime the Government has come to a situation where they grab the anguished and depressed members of the UNP.
Referring to the UNP, Jayasuriya admitted that there were differences of opinion and conflict of opinions within. “But we have to uphold the dignity of the party as the largest single political party of the country. I will continue to remain in the process to convert the United National Party, to a victorious political party. My desire is to bring victory to the party and its members. We can do so without cutting off our noses to spite our faces. I do not need any positions to bring political victory to the party. Already I have been invited personally by some members to provide support to them to win the election campaign. I will be visiting them to provide support and strength to them,” Jayasuriya said.
“We need a country to live in. Similarly though we have different views, we need a party to act as proud members of the United National Party. We can do so only if we protect the party. I affectionately request my dear members of the party, let us keep our differences aside for a moment. Let us work hard to bring victory to the United National Party and the Elephant symbol, in this election,” Jayasuriya said, adding “Let us bring victory to our party and to our nation.”