Written by Staff Writer
22 Nov, 2019 | 9:35 pm
Colombo (News 1st): Leader of the UNP, Ranil Wickremesinghe spoke about the presidential election during a media briefing at Siri Kotha today (November 22). He assured the public that the party mechanism and Siri Kotha worked during this election and denied the allegations that cite the campaign was weakened. He added that the campaign was not weakened due to his intervention or the party mechanism.
Wickremesinghe noted that they delegated responsibilities among their main members including ministers and instructed them to fulfil those responsibilities. He added that he took over the responsibility of northern and eastern votes and he was able to increase the voting percentage, unfortunately, the votes in the remaining 7 provinces reduced which was the reason for the defeat.
He added that though they won certain districts, as a whole, they were defeated. He said in his view, they did not receive the expected positive response for our efforts to establish democracy, develop social services and initiate development.
“The Party must look in to the reasons why it lost the Sinhalese Buddhist votes because it has never happened before.Results must be reviewed. We can go forward, only after reviewing the results. There is no point in blaming one another. The Party or its Office Bearers held no responsibility on the finances for the campaign. We were not responsible for finances. Action will be taken against those who raise allegations against the party, without examining the details properly. We must think about the future of the party, and put forward new leaders. Based on this review, we must handover the task to the new leaders to present a new policy framework. The transformation will then be complete. We can then go forward with the leadership without any fear. Lets obtain the blessings of the Maha Sangha for the program, and go forward as a new UNP.”
Today, Ranil Wickremesinghe, accompanied by Akila Viraj Kariyawasam and Navin Dissanayaka, visited the party headquarters, which was previously shut down for the general public who intended to meet Sajith Premadasa.
Can the statement made by Ranil Wickremesinghe, regarding the loss of Sinhalese Buddhist votes during the presidential election, be accepted?
Speaking regarding this issue Venerable Akmeemana Dayaratne Thero of the Sinhala Rawaya National Organization noted that there are several powerful leaders within the party, who have acted to distance the UNP from the Sinhalese Buddhist community. He noted that they clearly know that it was Ranil Wickremesinghe who handled everything here. He said the Sinhalese Buddhists were distanced from the party when false accusations were leveled against Buddhist monks and when they were arrested during the premiership of Ranil Wickremesinghe.
He added that now Ranil Wickremesinghe has suggested presenting a series of proposals to bond with Sinhalese Buddhists. The Thero noted that the people will not be deceived by fake proposals put forwarded by leaders who don’t believe in safeguarding Buddhism. He added that Ranil Wickremesinghe should move away from the United National Party and the party leadership should be given to a Sinhalese Buddhist.
Political activists of the United National Party voiced their objection over the statement made by the leader of the party about applying the party mechanism to emerge victorious during the presidential election.
On the 20th of November, 2019 UNP MP Harin Fernando noted that as a party, they did not have any mechanism as it was with someone else. He added that the party should have taken action when the mechanism was not effective, however, Sajith Premadasa did not receive that support. He said the organizers of certain electorates had not even toured their area and distributed leaflets to houses.
MP Fernando said it was only Sajith Premadasa’s profile that spread across the country, which helped him to obtain 5.5 million votes. He noted that even though a few members worked hard, the party’s mechanism did not work out. And now he said, when they ask him to stay away because of the defeat he suffered, the politics within the party is very clear. However, he noted that they are not ready to revisit that point.
What happened to the funds allocated for the presidential election, although Ranil Wickremesinghe denied any involvement in party finances?
UNP MP Nalin Bandara said the 5.5 million votes were obtained because of Sajith Premadasa and it wasn’t because of someone else’s doing. He said there’s an issue with regard to the finances the party received and especially about coordinated and managed it. He added that they also have doubts if the funds were utilized effectively.
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