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President Premadasa's death anniversary commemorated with military honours on President's directive - Azwer

COLOMBO: "It was following the directive of President Mahinda Rajapaksa that late President Ranasinghe Premadasa's death anniversary was commemorated with military honours at Hulftsdorp this year," former Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Presidential Advisor A. H. M. Azwer said.

Azwer was addressing a campaign rally in support of UPFA local poll candidates in Wekande, Hunupitiya, Suduwella and Armour Street, early this week.

"R. Premadasa died when he was holding the office of Executive Presidency. His family persistently made requests from his party's leadership to provide military honours during Premadasa's commemoration days.

This was refused. But, when Sajith Premadasa spoke to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the request was granted within eight hours and on May 1, Hulftsdorp heard for the first time, the sound of bugles and a military guard of honour. Sajith and Madam Hema Premadasa had gratefully acknowledged this magnanimous gesture of President Rajapaksa and had telephoned him to express the gratitude of the late leader's family and of the people whom he represented."

Azwer further said that UNP voters who value the great services of R. Premadasa, and who are known as 'Premadasawadeen' have no alternative but vote for the candidates of Mahinda Rajapaksa since he has shown the true calibre of Premadasa in working sincerely for the people of this country. There was a time, when even the name of Premadasa was almost declared taboo to be used at UNP meetings for fear of reprisal of some leaders in the party.

There is no UNP contesting the Colombo Municipal elections. The mahout given incharge of the 'Elephant' has used his goad to pull out the eyes of the poor animal and now alleges that it was a conspiracy laid by the government. They say Colombo is the fortress of the UNP.

But it is the UNP itself that brought down the edifice by failing to file its nomination papers properly. There are very efficient hands working at Siri Kotha. If they were given the job, they would have done a proper job and saved the UNPs skin, he said.

Even M. H. Mohamed, in his latest statement to the press, and totally blamed the UNP leadership for the utter shambles to which they have brought the party down.

Former Minister Imthiaz Bakeer Markar, in a statement made before the Working Committee of the party had levelled serious allegations against his own leader and had described how the party had fallen into this abysmal depth. There is no place for Muslims in the party and acknowledged Muslim politicians are deserting the party at every level, he has pointed out.

Azwer therefore appealed to voters of the Colombo, Galle, Kalmunai and other Pradeshiya Sabha Councils, to vote for the Betel symbol and ensure clean and steady administrations in all these local bodies, which will be run during the next six years under a Mahinda Chinthanaya Maga.

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