Sajith’s manifesto allows TNA’s demands – SLPP | Daily News


Sajith’s manifesto allows TNA’s demands – SLPP

SLFP MP Ranjith Siyambalapitiya and SLPP MP Susil Premajayantha at the SLFP-SLPP joint media briefing yesterday. Picture by Dushmantha Mayadunne
SLFP MP Ranjith Siyambalapitiya and SLPP MP Susil Premajayantha at the SLFP-SLPP joint media briefing yesterday. Picture by Dushmantha Mayadunne

The manifesto of the New Democratic Front (NDF) Presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa is a cunningly prepared document to allow for the demands made by the TNA and that is why they have agreed to extend their support to him, said MP Susil Premajayantha addressing an SLFP–SLPP joint media briefing yesterday.

He said the Northern Tamil political parties had been vacillating for weeks unable to make up their minds on which candidate they would support. “Until the postal voting commenced on October 31, Sajith Premadasa had not revealed his manifesto. Therefore, only C.V. Vigneswaran had issued a statement calling on the Tamil people to cast their postal votes for a candidate of their choice. However, it was after the end of the first day of postal voting that the UNP candidate released his manifesto.”

“The chapter in Premadasa’s manifesto on page 15 titled ‘Janathawage Vyawasthawa’ or ‘People’s Constitution’ is cunningly worded to give the Tamil political parties exactly what they wanted. The SLPP promptly rejected these demands, but the UNP was silent. Not a single UNP leader uttered a word about these proposals. If one looks at these 13 demands, only the first one related to constitutional issues. However, while three of the parties within the TNA had pledged their support to Premadasa, two parties, the TELO and the PLOTE did not,” Premajayantha said.

However, he said by yesterday the media had reported that Wigneswaran had cited discrepancies in the Sinhala, English and Tamil versions of Sajith Premadasa’s manifesto. According to Premajayantha, what the NDF manifesto has done is to stop at the formulations put forward in the draft constitution that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe tabled in Parliament earlier this year.

“It states that they would continue on their path undeterred and have the constitution passed in a referendum. However, prior to a referendum, it is required to obtain a two-thirds majority in Parliament. But it is because the government did not get that two-thirds majority that Ranil Wickremesinghe submitted the interim report.

Thereafter, hoodwinking the TNA and the people of the North and East, after three-and-a-half years they closed down the secretariat in Parliament and washed their hands off it. But they did not reveal the UNP stand. Now it seems that the stand of the UNP is included in Sajith Premadasa’s manifesto,” he said.

“Even the Prime Minister made a statement at a rally in Manippay recently confirming it which said that they would obtain a two-thirds majority after November 17 and take forward the constitutional process. The interim report submitted by Wickremesinghe clearly attempts to cause confusion by using the Tamil word ‘Orumittanadu’ which means one nation, whereas the Sinhala version uses the word ‘Ekeeya’.”

“They also intend to form a constitutional court overriding the powers of the Supreme Court jurisdiction to interpret the Constitution,” Premajayantha said.

He added that this was something that they had vehemently opposed, but it is now included in Premadasa’s manifesto. According to Premajayantha, nowhere in Premadasa’s manifesto is the word ‘Ekeeya’ included.

Meanwhile, addressing the media briefing, Ranjith Siyambalapitiya stated that the 13 demands put forward by the Tamil parties is no different to the demands of the LTTE. “The TNA has now agreed to support Sajith Premadasa without any conditions, which is very suspicious,” he said.

Referring to allegations by the Opposition during their campaigns which harp on white vans, he said UNP MP Gayantha Karunatillake had stated in Parliament that no complaint had been made at any police station regarding any white van abductions. This is included in the Hansard. “However, Sajith Premadasa claims to have his father’s genes. If so, it is safe to assume that he too could act as his father did. There have been 60,000 complaints regarding the abductions carried out during the Premadasa regime and in fact, it was Minister Mangala Samaraweera who led the group of mothers who were protesting against the disappearance of their children. Hence, he is a good witness to the atrocities committed during the Premadasa regime.”

He challenged the group claiming to be protecting the SLFP to read the statement made in Parliament by former President Ranasinghe Premadasa after suspending the civic rights of Sirimavo Bandaranaike on October 16, 1980, and then decide if they can support the presidency of his son Sajith Premadasa.

Hence, he said that the SLFP Central Committee had decided to support the candidacy of the SLPP candidate and anyone participating in the convention to support the candidacy of Sajith Premadasa would have to face disciplinary action.

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