With the imminence of the Colombo Municipal Election, the Government is desperately resorting to greater untruths and flagrant disregard of all the rules and regulations, says UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya. In a statement released to the media, he adds that the Government remains completely oblivious to the fact that it is not going to win the upcoming election based on such tactics.
Following is the full text of the statement issued by Jayasuriya:
“With the imminence of the Colombo Municipal Election, the Government is desperately resorting to greater untruths and the flagrant disregard of all the rules and regulations stipulated by the Election’s Commissioner to try to win the municipal election. They remain completely oblivious to the fact that they are not going to win the upcoming election based on such tactics. They have underestimated the capacity of the Colombo voter to discern the truth from false.
“It is evident that the Government has utilised enormous capital in running a presidential type campaign to win a municipal election. The paucity of their arguments and reasoning has had to be supplemented by the enormity of funds, creating a first in municipal election history, to convince the voter to pick a candidate.
“Additionally, the current regime has repeatedly threatened that only a Mayor representing their regime is capable of getting the job done with the aid of the central government. As a former Mayor of this great city, I can state without a shadow of a doubt that city can operate without a single penny coming out of the state coffer. These statements amounts to nothing more than fear mongering and blatant blackmail of the Colombo voter.
“During my tenure as Mayor of Colombo, the central government was controlled by the opposition. If the allegation levelled by the current regime is correct, I would not have been able to conclude any work during my term. Conversely, great strides were achieved in the city of Colombo during this time resulting in my receiving the award for the ‘Most Innovative Mayor in Asia’. We also won awards under the theme: ‘the most efficiently managed city in Asia’ and for being ‘the most beautiful city in Asia’. These were most definitely not private achievements but accolades to the people of Colombo.
“The annual income of the Colombo Municipal Council stands at approximately Rs. 7 billion, of which Rs. 2 billion is spent on wages and other current expenditure. This leaves Rs. 5 billion to be spent on the development of the city of Colombo. I can confidently affirm that since 1999, the central government did not contribute anything to run the requisite services for the general public in this city. In this context, we are confident that any support from the current regime will not be needed to administer the council or the city.
“We have put forward a comprehensive plan (‘Purawara Dhakma’) to implement developmental strides in the city of Colombo. Nationally and internationally, the United National Party has garnered immense confidence which will assist us to raise funds and manage these funds efficiently for the development of Colombo.
“As former Mayor of Colombo and the Deputy Leader of the United National Party, my earnest request is that you exercise your franchise in a democratic manner. At this crucial moment in our history, it is absolutely imperative that you vote intelligently and elect the United National party to manage the Colombo Municipal Council.
“The United National Party has fielded A.J.M. Muzammil as the Mayoral candidate. He is a man of the people with remarkable awe-inspiring experience in both the private and public sectors. Muzammil has proved that he is capable of working with and adhering to all communities of people and parties. He has the unqualified support of our party as the ideal candidate to be the next Mayor of Colombo.
“The party has chosen wisely and we now ask you, our supporters, to help make a change with your invaluable vote. I ask that you vote in a Mayor and a Council that will work for the people and not one that works for itself. I ask that you vote for a change, a change that will not only lead to the betterment of this city but will inevitably lead to more democratic processes that will inspire a nation.”