In response to UNP’s challenge:
Govt ready for snap poll
COLOMBO: The United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) in the immediate
aftermath of their landslide victory in the Provincial Council Elections
for Sabaragamuwa and North Central Provinces yesterday said they were
ready for a General Election if the main Opposition United National
Party (UNP) stands by their pre-poll claims for one.
Transport Minister Dullas Alahapperuma addressing the media
questioned whether the UNP still stands by their challenge which they
made during the PC polls campaign and added that the Government was
ready to accept the challenge within a few months.
The Minister added that any decision regarding a General Election
would be taken after giving careful thought to the masses’ aspirations.
The Minister also claimed that the UNP which based their campaign on
virulent lies and personal attacks against the Government and the
President, was now seeking cover behind mere statistics for their heavy
The Minister pointed out that during the Presidential Elections in
2005, the UPFA
had lost five electorates within these PCs to the UNP but had wrested
them back with a bigger margin this time adding that the UNP today could
not even get simple arithmetic right.
At a time when the whole country was behind President Rajapaksa and
the Government’s efforts at ending LTTE terrorism and driving away
Prabhakaran, the UNP went to the voters asking them to send President
Rajapaksa home, the Minister said.
Alahapperuma pointed out that this single act amply demonstrated the
lack of foresight and insensitive attitude to the people’s aspirations
by the UNP which was one of the main reasons behind their heavy defeat.
The Minister while pointing out that the UPFA never stooped to such
low levels, stressed that the cornerstone of the UPFA victory was their
scientific and disciplined campaign which was based on broader themes
such as needs of the people, their aspirations and issues pertaining to
the country in general.
The media briefing was attended by other members of the UPFA steering
committee on elections including Media and Information Minister Anura
Priyadarshana Yapa, Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene, Education
Minister Susil Premajayantha, Environment and Natural Resources Minister
Champika Ranawaka, Constructions and Engineering Services Minister Dr.
Rajitha Senaratne, Agriculture Development and Agrarian Services
Minister Maithripala Sirisena and Minister of Power, Mahindananda