Nov 09, Colombo: Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe points out that Gotabhaya Rajapaksa's 80-page election manifesto has mentioned the word 'democracy' only once. This shows that they have no commitment or belief in a democratic system of governance.
The Prime Minister made this observation participating in the United National Party (UNP) election rallies held in Maligawatte and Keselwatta areas yesterday.
Recalling that the Rajapaksa regime had suppressed all those who spoke against it with bullets, and completely trampled on the freedom and democracy of the people of Sri Lanka, the Prime Minister said that the country should not be allowed to return to such an oppressive and gloomy era.
"Our government that came to power in 2015 has established independent commissions to safeguard democracy and create an environment where people can live without fear. Our aim is to preserve that framework and move it forward. But what does presidential candidate Gotabhaya Rajapaksa say about protecting democracy? Even though he has 80 pages in his manifesto, the word democracy is only mentioned in one place."
"Will they safeguard the independent commissions we have established? Will they be continued and empowered? Or does it offer an alternative? Will they stop white van abductions? Will journalists stop disappearing? Does it safeguard the independence of the judiciary? Gotabhaya Rajapaksa should answer these questions that public raises."
"The main topic of this election is the protection of democracy. If nothing is mentioned in the policy statement, is it worth it to vote for such a person? Do we vote for Sajith Premadasa who has a proper system that protects democracy? You have to decide whether you will vote for Gotabhaya Rajapakse who is preparing to take the country back to a dark age without putting forward any program to protect democracy."
Power and Energy Minister Ravi Karunanayake, Megapolis and Western Development Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka, Central Colombo organizer and parliamentarian Mujibur Rahman, Central Colombo organizer Firuz Hajjia, New Sama Samaja Party leader Dr. Wickremabahu Karunaratne and United People's Front leader Sirimasiri Hapuarachchi and several UNP activists were present at the occasion.