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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2398

Sri Lanka never again returns to rule by sword, Our Democracy, Our Republic, Depends on it – Minister Mangala

Colombo, 13 February, (Asiantribune.com):

The people has told that United National Party has not done enough and the people expect more from the ruling Party, was the centerpiece of the contention of Mangala Samaraweera in the statement made by him regarding the UNP’s debacle in the Local Government elections.

Minister of Finance and Mass Media Mangala Samaraweera was the first to come up with a sensible, analytical and pragmatic statement on the outcome of the local Government elections held on 10th of this month.

Minister has agreed that the people of the country were of the opinion “that we have not done enough.”

He added “Despite the sincerest of efforts to inject haste and independence into a dilapidated justice system over the last three years and empower the police with the tools they need to successfully investigate complex crimes, murderers and fraudsters remain at large.”

Minister Mangala Samaraweera recalled that on the 8th of January 2015, fifty one percent of Sri Lankans voted for the vision put forth to them, by our unity candidate Maithripala Sirisena: that the time for dictatorship in our country was over, and that those committed to re-establishing democracy in Sri Lanka must unite to ensure that government serves all of the people, and not a single family and their loyal disciples.

He further added, “On that day, the United National Party, several stalwarts of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, the People’s Liberation Front, the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, the Tamil National Alliance, the Democratic People’s Front, and all together over 30 political and civic bodies came together to prove that Sri Lankans shared their vision of a Sri Lanka that was ruled by law and not through fear.”

The Minister went on to remind, “We promised to amend the constitution to restore independence to the public service, abolish the executive presidency, and enshrine the rights of all Sri Lankans into the legal bedrock of our legal system. We promised to bring those who robbed the coffers of the treasury to justice. We promised to hold accountable those who quenched their thirst for power with the blood of brave journalists and peaceful protestors. Most of all, we promised you a government that would be free of the rampant corruption that defined the decade that came before us.”

Without any fuss or worry, the Minister Samaraweera was pragmatic enough to come up with his contention to be frank and objective in stating that “Today, the people told us that we have not done enough. Despite the sincerest of efforts to inject haste and independence into a dilapidated justice system over the last three years and empower the police with the tools they need to successfully investigate complex crimes, murderers and fraudsters remain at large. Despite our government being the first in the nation’s history to insist that ministers must resign from the cabinet at the first sign of wrongdoing, and indeed the first to investigate allegations of corruption within its ranks with such vigor, justice is yet to be served.”

He emphasized, “This message from the people has sunk deep into the UNP, and we are committed to taking drastic measures to fulfil the promises we made three years ago and maintain the public trust. As we embark on this chapter in the story of our democracy, Sri Lanka can be proud of two remarkable things we saw last Saturday.”

The Minister brought to the memory of those of the fact that during the last Presidential elections, state coffers were emptied for the election campaign and pointed out that the local government elections held on last Saturday was the first election that has been conducted under the auspices of an independent elections commission and police service. As pointed out in the beginning of this Para he pointed out, “Never before has a government shied from manipulating public personnel, funds, resources and state media into an organ of their political ends. We hope that under these independent bodies, Sri Lanka has seen the last of corruption, intimidation and violence marring our elections.”

Finally, it became very clear and evident that the same Mahinda Rajapaksa who in January 2015 commanded 5.77 million votes (47.6%) as his presidency waned, last week was not even able to muster 4.95 million votes or even 44.7% of voters.

The Minister categorically stated, “The UNP has a solemn duty not just to the 46% of the electorate who voted for us and President Sirisena’s SLFP last Saturday, but to the entire resounding majority of our citizens, all 6.1 million of them (55.3%) who marched to the polls last Saturday and voted against a return to Rajapaksa rule.

The Minister, who compared the current election results with that of the 2015 Presidential Election, said it was evident that Mahinda Rajapaksa who in January 2015 commanded 5.77 million votes (47.6%) as his presidency waned week was not ‘even able to muster 4.95 million votes or even 44.7% of voters this time.

Finance and Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera, in his statement said “Our duty is to broaden our own voter base by delivering results, while joining hands with all honest and democratic political forces to uplift our motherland and ensure that Sri Lanka never again returns to rule by the sword. That is our calling and we must not fail. Our democracy, our republic, depends on it.”

- Asian Tribune -

Minister Mangala Samaraweera    - File Photo
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