Election violence could only harm UPFA - Minister
COLOMBO: The United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) will not engage
in any activity that would drive voters away from polling stations at
tomorrow’s North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council elections,
UPFA General Secretary Minister Susil Premjayantha said.
Addressing the media in Colombo yesterday, the Minister said any kind
of election violence will only be harmful to his party, since it would
create fear among people and discourage them from voting for the UPFA.
“We have informed all our supporters not to incite or engage in
election violence since preference is not something one could obtain by
force. On the contrary, the United National Party (UNP) Chief
Ministerial candidate for the North Central province launched his
campaign by challenging others to fight a person like him who defied
even the LTTE,” he said.
According to the Minister, the UPFA propaganda campaign for the twin
PC polls ended on a victorious note at 12 midnight Wednesday , in
compliance with the guidelines set by the Elections Commissioner. ”The
campaign commenced two weeks before nominations with small political
meetings at polling station level and gradually grew into a
fully-fledged campaign. By Wednesday, we had held at least one meeting
in each seat presided by the Prime Minister, while the President
addressed the four main rallies organised in the two provinces,” he
Premjayantha said compared with the UNP campaign, all UPFA meetings
had received an overwhelming response from the public, with over 25,000
people participating in the rallies. Two home-to-home propaganda
programs were also carried out in the provinces.”
”During these meetings, we informed the public of the Government’s
development plans and measures taken to bring down the cost of living by
Pointing out that the majority of people in areas like Kegalle and
Thunkorale are bearers of old leftist views, the Minister expressed
confidence about the UPFA’s victory at the polls.
Responding to a query on Wednesday’s discussions between the United
States Ambassador and the Elections Commissioner, the Minister ruled out
any possibility of the meeting affecting the objectivity of elections
Addressing the briefing, UPFA Member of Parliament Arjuna Ranatunga
reiterated that the Government condemned election violence in all its
forms since it recognises the value of lives and property.