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* PM advises party officials to finalize forming alliance to contest presidential election
Thu, Aug 22, 2019, 08:49 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Aug 22, Colombo: Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has said that as the leader of the United National Party he would continue to take the party forward in unity so as not to cause any problems within the party.

Accordingly, party officials have been instructed to expedite the formation of the new alliance, the Premier said at a function held at Temple Trees today.

Mr. Wickremesinghe said the country's development program should be taken forward while safeguarding the freedoms granted by the present government in the past few years.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe made these remarks addressing a meeting of Local Government representatives of Trincomalee, Ampara, Puttalam, Matale, Polonnaruwa, Jaffna, Vavuniya, Mannar, Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi and Batticaloa Districts Thursday (22) 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.

Speaking further Mr. Wickremesinghe said, the government has created an environment where people can live freely due to the measures taken including the establishment of an independent judicial system.

"No matter how much we are blamed today, no one has been taken away in white vans and disappeared or murdered. We should all move forward while protecting the freedom won. A lot of work has been done in the last few years and this program needs to be taken further."

He said despite many challenges, the government took steps to resolve unemployment, and more employment opportunities should be created in the future.

"It takes 10 - 15 years to develop a country. Steps must be taken to create a government of our own to safeguard this development program and move the country towards development. As the party leader I would like to move the party forward in unity so as not to cause any problems within the party. I have instructed party leaders and party officials to end the work on the alliance that is to be formed.

Speaking on the occasion, UNP General Secretary and Minister of Education Akila Viraj Kariyawasam stated that the UNP will work in unity and win all the next elections and will continue for 10 years. He said the country was internationally marginalized during the regime of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. He pointed out that the country, which could not obtain a loan from a foreign country was brought forward on right track and developed while safeguarding the democracy and media freedom.

State Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs Niroshan Perera, State Minister of Foreign Affairs Wasantha Senanayake, State Minister of Petroleum Resources Development Anoma Gamage, Parliamentarians Nalaka Kolonne, Rohini Wijeratne and Imran Maharoof were among the large number of politicians present at the occasion.


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