‘UNP will be the most powerful political force’ | Daily News

‘UNP will be the most powerful political force’

Newly appointed leaders of the UNP stressed and promised a change of course for the party as they asked their supporters to once again turn the party into the most powerful political force in the country.

The UNP May Day celebrations this year under the theme, “Infusing new energy into a mature leadership” at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium yesterday had nine speakers including UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, who assured that ‘change’ in the next 18 months would come and that next time around it would only be a UNP government under a UNP leader.

The speakers identified; dealing with corruption, serving justice to UNPers who were politically victimized, providing jobs, granting the fertilizer subsidy, Samurdhi, uniforms to schoolchildren and a party which needs to connect and reach the grassroots as the key areas they needed to focus on if the UNP were to retain power.

In unison they appealed to their supporters to band together for the sake of the party and not yield to personal agendas. UNP Trade Union Secretary Ajith P. Perera said the government had kept to their promise of bringing the crooked to book, but many cases over the last three years had not borne fruit due to the inadequacies of the justice system, “We will resolve this issue by bringing in the High Courts which will hear cases daily,” he said.

“We will punish both old as well as new crooks (even under our own government),” Perera promised.

“Our leader is not a crook and he does not protect them but we now have to struggle to clean the image of our party. We will do this in the next few months,” he said. Minister Sarath Fonseka, who concurred Perera’s sentiment, added that legal action against the Rajapaksa family will need to be taken in the next 18 months if they are all to avoid getting into trouble once again. He also asked that the Samurdhi be restructured and provincial schools developed further to win the support of the people. “We need grassroots policies,” he said.

Party National Organsier Naveen Dissanayake said the UNP was at an important juncture and could not move forward without restructuring,

“We had 40 percent of the vote base to cruise on auto pilot. At the last election, it dropped to 29 percent. We need to ask why we failed. The SLPP is stronger than us today,” he said.

As he appealed to the party to stick together as one team without differences in opinion, he asked that the leaders go to the people and give them what they want.

“Politics is the art of the possible. I am happy to hear our leader speaks of jobs now. We need to give jobs; that is the culture in Sri Lanka,” he said.

Concurring with the rest that the party needed to field their own candidate at the next Presidential election, he said, “Since 94, the UNP has not elected a President. I suggest that next time the party leader or the best candidate from the party come forward; We can’t depend on anyone else,” he added.

Harin Fernando, the party’s Communications Secretary, who also appealed for unity within the party added that unity did not mean saying ‘yes’ all the time, “We will fight when it is needed and protect the party when needed. This party is based on its supporters. The SLPP revolved around Mahinda Rajapaksa, and today because of Maithripala Sirisena. But the UNP will always be there regardless of Ranil Wickremesinghe”.

As he appreciated Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe’s presence at the May Day rally, he noted that the party was bigger than its leadership and that their leader had built it on the strength of its people.

“We have prepared a new programme to move forward. Don’t wait for titles to work for the party,” he said.

He noted that when they build the party, new leaders would emerge through its strength.

UNP General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, a UNPer who had risen through the ranks since his first entry to the party through its youth wing Yowun Peramuna, said despite people questioning his ability to deliver, he would commit himself completely to the victory of the party,

“I have taken over the party at a difficult time and our supporters have complaints against us. That is because we don’t have a government of our own. We can do more if we have,” he said. 


There are 2 Comments

Talking about crooks, what did you do to Ravi Karunayake. You helped him, so what are we talking about ???

Not think in that direction. You and do called wise men women let down the country and minorities by the topsyturvy behaviour for power. All parties including you talk thing of united happy nation but pass laws behave by deeds actions to divide the soul of the nation


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