Aug 19, Colombo: Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says the United National Party (UNP) could easily win the upcoming presidential election and for that all UNP members should unite and work together to form a new alliance and go forward strengthening it.
The Prime Minister was addressing a meeting of Local Government representatives of Matara, Hambantota, Kalutara and Nuwara Eliya Districts held Monday (19) at Temple Trees on the progress of the Rural Infrastructure Development Program for the year 2019 under the Ministry of National Policy and Economic Affairs.
Wickremesinghe said his government was able to carry out a massive development work without a majority in the face of various challenges and difficulties since 2015 and recalled that there was no other government that had done so much in such a short time.
Expressing his views, the Premier said this government has launched a number of development projects in the past and the local government representatives were very supportive of that development as the local leaders.
"You, engaged in local politics, have been very supportive as leaders of that development. All of you should now take steps to safeguard grassroot power by educating people on the success of the development work."
"There was no other government that has worked for the people as much as this government. There was no other government that has talked about development work as much as this government."
The Premier pointed out that the government did not have presidential power since 2015. "There was no stable government. In the face of such challenges and difficulties, the government has been able to carry out a major part of the development so far. Our aim is to increase this work tenfold by obtaining a stable government with powers."
"It took two years to restore the country that was ruined when we came to power and obtain a loan. Despite many problems, we have done a lot of work for the people. Salaries of state employees were increased. Samurdhi subsidy was increased. More funds were allocated for health and education. We were able to do a great deal of work including roads, housing, infrastructure and employment."
"We can win the upcoming election. As people's representatives, you should take the initiative now to go to the people and enlighten them on the work we have done and the will do in the future. Let us all come together and form an alliance to win the next election and consolidate our power."
UNP General Secretary and Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam stated that the new alliance will be formed in a short span of time by bringing together political parties and progressive organizations.
He said that a large number of activists including the people's representatives of the SLFP and the SLPP are looking forward to join the alliance.
Minister Kariyawasam added that the present government has been able to carry out a broad development program in all parts of the country in the last four years and all should work together to win the next election to take that development forward.
UNP National Organizer and Minister Naveen Dissanayake said that there is a mechanism in the UNP to select the Presidential Candidate and the candidate would be selected through discussions in the future.
Minister Dissanayake recalled that some people in the past left the UNP and started new political movements but none of them succeeded. In all such instances the UNP was protected and has come forward.
He pointed out that some forces have tried to create a crisis in the UNP from the past and that the UNP can achieve victories by defeating such efforts and moving forward in unity.
Chief of Staff of the Prime Minister and Minister of Ports and Shipping Sagala Ratnayake and a large number of politicians were present at the occasion.