Written by Staff Writer
31 Oct, 2019 | 9:57 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st) – Presidential Candidate Sajith Premadasa faced an unexpected situation last night when he arrived in Kurunegala to attend a public rally.
The issue arose when attempting to land the helicopter carrying Sajith Premadasa and as a result, the helicopter was diverted to Katunayake.
Since Sajith Premadasa’s failure to arrive at the rally, UNP Deputy Minister Ashok Abeysinghe took the stage to address the crowd.
UNP Deputy Minister Ashok Abeysinghe:
“I have to regrettably say, an issue has arisen when landing Sajith Premadasa’s helicopter as a result of the darkness. There are no street lights on the road today either.
Water supply to this area has also been suspended. Even the ground does not have any lights. So there is an issue to land the helicopter. I would like to apologize to all of you. He will attempt to land again.
If it fails, we will have to end this rally without him. At a time where no one spoke of it, at a time where a Presidential Candidate from the UNP had not been appointed from the general public’s vote since 1988 and the loyal UNP supporters were anticipating the appointment of a Presidential Candidate from the UNP for over 30 years, Ashok Abeysinghe is the one who said we need Sajith Premadasa.
Therefore I take great pleasure in the fact that our ambition was fulfilled. On the other hand, I am disappointed this happened to me since Sajith Premadasa was unable to attend this rally.
That is fate. There is nothing that can be done. I don’t intend to speak much longer. He sent a message just now saying he will arrive here after going to Katunayake. However, since we cannot ask you to stay here for another 1 and a half hours or so I will conclude this rally.
I am deeply saddened by this. Are any of you angry with me? There is nothing else that can be done.”
The helicopter had commenced its journey from Dambulla to Kurunegala between 6 and 7 pm last night.
Athula Wickramarachchi, Caretaker of the Welagedara Ground shared his thoughts regarding the issue.
“We saw the helicopter around 6.45-7:00 last night, arriving to the Welagedara ground. We gathered all the vehicles from the security detail of Sajith Premadasa and attempted to light up the area.
We used a torch as a signal. But still, it did not land. Eventually, it left after sending a message saying it will land in Katunayake. Only the offices situated in the old and new stadium of the Welagedara ground has been provided with electricity.”
A bystander noted that street lamps were turned off but they were turned on as soon as the helicopter left the area.
Tissa Attanayake shared his thoughts regarding this issue as well.
“They knew very well that the helicopter carrying Sajith Premadasa was arriving at the Welagedara ground. It was the responsibility of the respective officials to look into and ensure the necessary security measures and signalling systems are in place.
There is one fact that is clear here. This is clearly an act of sabotage. Because there is no way electricity could have been disrupted. If the supply of electricity was to be disrupted, they should have taken alternative measures.
The Presidential Candidate’s life would also have been in jeopardy if they had attempted to land in such dangerous conditions. We would like to request officials to conduct a probe immediately.”
Meanwhile, a complaint was lodged at the National Election Commission today (October 31), urging authorities to conduct a stringent probe into the threat posed to Sajith Premada’s life.
Attorney-at-law Yasas De Silva:
“Tissa Attanayake handed in a complaint to the National Election Commission regarding the issue where electricity had been disconnected in a way where Presidential Candidate Sajith Premadasa was unable to land at the Welagedara Ground in Kurunegala. We request the Chairman to conduct a comprehensive investigation into this.”
Rajinda Makolage, Chief Secretary Gajasavi Samajawadi Peramuna:
“We have reasonable grounds to suspect if Sajith Premadasa’s helicopter not being able to land last night was an act of sabotage. We also suspect if it was an attempt to harm the life of Sajith Premadasa. We would like to request this Government to conduct a probe into this”
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