Many views, ideas within UNP, show democracy - Sajith | Daily News

Many views, ideas within UNP, show democracy - Sajith

Minister Sajith Premadasa, State Minister Eran Wickramaratne, MPs M.A. Sumanthiran, Mavai Senathirajah and a few others at the meeting.  (Picture by Finance Ministry Media Unit)
Minister Sajith Premadasa, State Minister Eran Wickramaratne, MPs M.A. Sumanthiran, Mavai Senathirajah and a few others at the meeting. (Picture by Finance Ministry Media Unit)

Although there seems to be an internal crisis within the UNP for people unaccustomed to democracy, the UNP as a political party is an epitome of democracy, Housing, Construction and Cultural Affairs Minister and UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa said.

He said the existence of different ideas and views is a feature of democracy and non-existence of different and conflicting views is a feature of a dictatorship.

Minister Premadasa expressed these views addressing a press conference at the Muttraveli Grounds in Jaffna after attending the Enterprise Sri Lanka Exhibition on its third day, yesterday (10) as the chief guest. Minister Premadasa said the Enterprise Sri Lanka programme launched on a concept of Minister Mangala Samaraweera opens new development vistas to the small man under its state relief loan schemes. They are offered every fundamental requirement from knowledge to capital for opening a business venture.

These loans are extended on simple terms and conditions, and low-interest rates. As such, this programme is capable of creating one million entrepreneurs surpassing its conservative target of 100,000 entrepreneurs.

Minister Premadasa said Tamil people, especially those visiting the exhibition asked various questions from him regarding their problems. He said he never engaged in a double talk by saying one thing abroad and expressing a divergent view within the country. The 13 plus promise given by certain local leaders while in India became 13 minuses when they returned to Sri Lanka.

Minister Premadasa said his standpoint is to resolve this problem by granting maximum devolution within a unitary state. He said he would like to stress that the resolution of this problem depends on political, economic and social empowerment. A solution to this problem would not be found if a person belonging to any community considers himself or herself as a second-class citizen. The Minister said the Provincial Council system was introduced as a solution to this problem but it was not implemented in full. “As a result, the 13th Amendment to the Constitution had become a mere joke today. Therefore, we ought to strengthen the Provincial Council system,” he said.

He said their stand was clearly stated in the policy statement issued at the Presidential Election when they were elected to power in 2015. “It meant maximum devolution within a unitary state. It had not changed one bit to date,” the Minister said.

He said those who attempted to portray that the UNP was in crisis regarding the Presidential candidate were those unaccustomed to democracy. “Democracy meant the freedom to express divergent views. There were certain political parties which had no place for divergent views since they had been brought under stiff control,” he said.

Finance State Minister Eran Wickramaratne and Jaffna Mayor Emmanuel Arnold were also present on the occasion.

Meanwhile, Minister Sajith Premadasa who arrived in Jaffna to open the Enterprise Sri Lanka Exhibition had a meeting with TNA leaders.

A group of people including TNA parliamentarians M.A. Sumanthiran and Mavai Senathirajah attended the meeting.

Finance State Minister Iran Wickramratne also attended the meeting.


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