Written by Staff Writer
20 Nov, 2019 | 9:24 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st) – Former Minister Harin Fernando issued a warning during a media briefing in Colombo today (November 20). His comments were:
“Our former candidate Sajith Premadasa will be holding a special media briefing tomorrow (November 21). He hopes to meet with the media and the general public tomorrow at our party headquarters in Sirikotha.
We are thankful that Ranil Wickremesinghe reached this decision at least by today, but there cannot be any other games involved in it. He must not do this with the intention of being appointed as the opposition leader, they must be allowed to take the government forward during these three months.
They have the opportunity to respect the new constitution that we brought forward and function these three months and on March 1st, they can dissolve the parliament and hold a general election.
We have an idea of who should lead us in this election. We believe that we need to continue this new political culture that we began. But if we are not given the opportunity to do that we will look at alternatives.
If we are threatened from within the party and subject to other mistreatment then we will have nothing left to do. But in case a majority of my party members do not agree with this decision I am not in favour of continuing to engage in politics with this leadership.
Journalist: What if Ranil Wickremesinghe does not leave the party leadership and takes up the position of Opposition Leader?
“I do not like that stance. He did not have the capability to look back at the mechanism within the party if people went from door to door. We did not have control over the mechanism either. Someone else was in charge of the party mechanism.
I must clearly say that Sajith Premadasa did not receive that support. The organizers had not gone to the houses in their electorates. Some people are giving different interpretations of the fact that Muslim and Tamil people voted for Sajith Premadasa.
That clearly shows that Sajith Premadasa is a good Sinhalese Buddhist Leader. He is a person who adheres to all of the 5 precepts. Even with all of that, he managed to win the trust of the Muslim and Tamil people.
I think there is victory within the loss that we suffered. If we won this election instead of losing it the people would have still had that animosity against us. I think there is a massive victory inside this loss that we suffered. I have begun to see that now.”
Journalist: Who do you think is most suitable for the position of Opposition Leader?
“Is that even a question? Who else is there? There is only the person who took us forward together” the former minister responded.
Journalist: What if Ranil Wickremesinghe doesn’t give up the position?
“We will unite and form a new party. What else can we do? Now they are saying that Harin Fernando was the person who ruined Sajith Premadasa’s political career. It makes me want to use profane language.
If he wasn’t brought forward a UNP supporter wouldn’t have been able to hoist a green flag in their village. If we fielded any other candidate he wouldn’t have won at least 3 million votes, I can bet on that. Is that the mistake that we made?
Now if they are saying that you contested but since you lost now you have to step aside, then you can clearly see that there was some political game inside of this as well.”
Journalist: Has Sajith Premadasa spoken of what he plans on doing in the future?
Minister noted that they had discussions privately, and according to Sajith Premadasa, he is of the view that he does not want to continue to do politics like this if certain positions in the party do not change.
Meanwhile, UNP MP Harin Fernando shared his thoughts regarding the political journey of the newly appointed president Gotabaya Rajapaksa and those who surround him.
MP Harin Fernando:
“President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is attempting to go on a different political journey. But I will warn you, the political journey of Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the ones around him are not the same.
It does not go hand in hand. I can confidently say that there will be some kind of eruption inside. Not even God can stop them from parting ways.
We have to see if Gotabaya Rajapaksa can go on his political journey independently, separate from the other Rajapaksas.
I want to very clearly state that, we will not hinder the good of President Rajapaksa. It is in 2021 and 2022 that Sri Lanka has to pay its largest debt instalment. Just like attention is focused on national security, attention should also be paid to strengthing the economy.
When the people who are said to have destroyed the economy of this country come into power, we also wondered how they felt. We will now see how the thoughts of the government and those on that same stage contradict each other. In the next few days, we can see how the change will happen.”
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