Hirunika for Maithri

Tuesday, 9 December 2014 01:30 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Says she will remain SLFPer but no longer support President
  • Predicts that Govt. will demonise her murdered father now
  • nAsserts defection was an ‘independent’ decision made in good conscience
  • CBK accompanies Hirunika to offer her ‘strength’
Pledging her support to common opposition Maithripala Sirisena, popular UPFA Western Provincial Councillor Hirunika Premachandra defected from the ruling party on nomination day. Premachandra said that she could not in good conscience remain with the Government. “If he wins, the country wins,” Premachandra said of Sirisena, soon after arriving at the Opposition Leader’s office at 5:30 p.m. for a press briefing yesterday. She was accompanied by former President Chandrika Kumaratunga and welcomed by UNP Communications Director Mangala Samaraweera. Flanked by Kumaratunga and UNP MPs Rosy Senanayake and Chandrani Bandara, the former ruling party council member noted that she remained a member of the SLFP. “I am still in the SLFP but I have left the President,” Premachandra told reporters. “Why do they protect my father’s killers? How can I continue to stay in this Government in good conscience,” she charged. “All this time we could not battle this system because there was no personality to rally around,” she explained. “Maithripala Sirisena is a politician we all love, who loves this country, a clean individual,” Premachandra added. Daughter of murdered SLFP trade union leader and presidential advisor, Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra, Hirunika Premachandra observed that people could expect no justice when the murder of a senior party member was going unpunished. The Sirisena campaign was standing against violence, thuggery and corruption in the present system, she charged. “From tomorrow, my father and I will be demonised,” the Councillor added.
 No medicine for Mahinda’s Bandaranaike phobias: CBK Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga struck back against President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s remarks last week that she was his true challenger in the 8 January poll. “I have no medicine for Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Bandaranaike phobias,” Kumaratunga charged in response to questions from journalists at the press briefing by Hirunika Premachandra yesterday. Against the corruption and brutality of the current administration, she had no choice but to come forward and support the common opposition platform, the ex-President noted. Addressing newspaper editors last Friday, President Rajapaksa claimed that his true opposition challenger was Kumaratunga. He charged that the plot to put Maithripala Sirisena forward as candidate was a Chandrika-Mangala conspiracy. “This is a historic moment when the UNP and the SLFP have come together. We have always dreamed about this,” she added.
The Colombo District vote-topper at this year’s WPC election said she had made her decision the day Sirisena announced he would be contesting as President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s main opposition challenger in the 8 January election. “I called Minister Rajitha Senaratne and asked him when I should join. He told me to come when I liked, he said I could do it today or at a later date,” she explained. She had also sought counsel from ex-President Kumaratunga once she had made her up mind to defect, Premachandra added. “None of them forced my hand. President Kumaratunga told me to make the right decision for me, also because I am a woman in politics, to think about my safety,” she asserted. She apologised for misleading the media about her crossover plans. “For security reasons I could not divulge my plans on the telephone until the last moment,” Premachandra explained. Queried further, the WPC member said there had been security threats against her ever since her father was killed. Former President Kumaratunga said that senior members of the Government had attempted to intimidate and threaten Premachandra even last morning. “I came here to give her strength as she made this decision,” Kumaratunga explained.