UNP 72nd Anniversary | Page 3 | Daily News


UNP 72nd Anniversary

‘Thousands sheltered during last two years’

United National Party Deputy Leader and Housing Minister Sajith Premadasa, whilst applauding the leadership given by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, said the party’s 72nd anniversary was particularly momentous since it had laid the foundation to build over 2,500 model villages.

Minister Premadasa was speaking at the 72nd anniversary of the United National Party at Sirikotha yesterday.

“When we took over, we did not realise the extent of the housing problem in the country. “The Prime Minister not only allocated the funds but also supported the model village projects wholeheartedly,” the Minister said.

He said that during the last two years the government had laid the foundation for thousands of model villages whilst providing many disadvantaged families a place of their own to call home.

“We will not stop here. In the second phase of the project, we wish to do 5,000 and later 10,000. There will be altogether 20,000 projects,” he said. “The positions we hold are temporary. While we are holding these positions, we must do our utmost for the people,” the Minister said.

‘They could not organise a rally, how can they run a country?’

United National Party Assistant Leader Ravi Karunanayake said at the party’s 72nd anniversary that the commemoration was particularly important because the rally organised by the Joint Opposition which promised to oust the government, was an overnight failure.

“How can you trust a party to run a country when they couldn’t even organise a protest,” he said.

He vowed to bring a bigger crowd to Colombo when the UNP’s turn comes to organise a rally. “The strength of this party cannot be quelled by paying protestors to attend rallies.

“We will govern till 2020 and beyond,” he said.

The former Minister recalled victories of the UNP governments and said that the party formed a coalition government in January 2015, and still leads it.

“This is the only political party that unite people from various faiths and all walks of life,” he said.

“It is matter of pride for us to stand by the party and propel its policies forward,” he said.

‘UNP unrivaled’

United National Party (UNP) National Organiser Navin Dissanayake said at the 72nd anniversary of the party that the party has seen the election of seven leaders and office-bearers were through secret ballots, a tradition which he believes should be upheld and continued.

“These office-bearers were elected through the secret ballots and it shows the political tradition of this party,” he said. “There is a reason why many of us were not made leaders of ministers from the get-go. We were all groomed to be where we are,” he said.

Minister Dissanayake said the former President was trying to groom his son to take over the mantle of the party bypassing Former Minister Basil Rajapaksa.

“Former Minister Basil Rajapaksa was a no-show at the rally the other day,” he said. “It is clear what their intentions are. But they should take a cue from the UNP,” he said.

Minister Dissanayake said bloodshed will be in the country if the former regime returns. “They will continue their tradition of corruption,” he said.

‘SLPP lost little support they had’

United National Party General Secretary and Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said at the 72nd anniversary of the party at Sirikotha that the Sri Lanka Podu Jana Peramuna (SLPP) lost what little support they had by organising a shoddy protest.

“No person or group which has stolen so much from the masses could get away or muster enough courage or support to organize a protest,” he said. “Failure of their protest proves that point,” he said.

“When the UNP protested and fought back, we did so with a purpose. What was the purpose of the Jana Balaya,” he queried.

“For the last 29 years, we could not form our government,” he said. “But we have got this far now and we’ve set our sights on the Presidential election,”he said.

He said the party’s defeat at the local government election enabled the party to turn over a new leaf and strengthen their mandate of fulfilling their promises.

Pictures by Hirantha Gunathilaka

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