Which election - Presidential or General ?:
Govt to decide in due course
Delegates want Presidential poll:
President Mahinda Rajapaksa addressing the annual National Convention
of the SLFP at the Khettarama Stadium yesterday evening noted that the
Government would decide in due course what election should be held
first. When the President inquired from around 100,000 SLFP members who
had filled the Khettrama, whether they wanted a Presidential or a
Parliamentary election first, the overwhelming response was - a
The President in lighter vain said “Do you want me to cut short two
years?” and added that he would put the request of the membership to the
party to make a decision.
He also opined that whatever comes first it would be held at a time
when the LTTE was not in the Sri Lankan political map.
He said that when the LTTE was a force to reckon with some Opposition
political parties out of fear had prepared their election policies to
please the Tigers. However, these parties should thank us for wiping out
the LTTE as now they don’t have to fear the Tigers when assessing their
election policies, he added.
Yesterday’s SLFP Convention was held in a colourful atmosphere with
many cultural events depicting national unity among all communities
entertaining the jubilant audience. Continuing his address, the
President paid a glowing tribute to the late SWRD Bandaranaike, DA
Rajapaksa and others who formed the SLFP 58 years ago and added he was
proud and honoured to lead such a party. The President observed that the
Sri Lanka Freedom Party had stood for its name sake and had given the
leadership to free the country from the clutches of terror.
He further noted that it was this Government led by the SLFP which
had completed almost 99 per cent of their election pledges in the
shortest span of time.
The President stressed that the SLFP was a party that had put the
nation before itself and added that the membership with their exemplary
behaviour also had ushered a new political culture of democracy and
cohesiveness sans discrimination of opposing members.
He noted that today the SLFP had come a long way from its humble
beginings and was a strong party that could face all challenges.
President Rajapaksa also added that the SLFP was a party which
thought of today’s children and those to be born. “Our party has created
a free nation for generations to live without fear”, he stressed.
Thus as members of a party which has such high values you could go
anywhere and proudly say that you are SLFP’s. Likewise all Sri Lankans
too could go any where around the globe and proudly say that they are
Sri Lankans now, he added.Referring to opportune politics of the
Opposition, President Rajapaksa stressed that such parties and policies
had no strength and they belonged to the past and not to the future.
He added that the main Opposition party which had such great leaders
as D.S. Senanayake in the past was today without a Presidential
candidate and was going begging around to find a suitable one.
The President also stressed that he was not a leader who was prepared
to surrender to what the international community wanted to plunder but
was ready to offer anything to the people of his country to uplift the
He further said that with the successful end to the battle to protect
the nation now another battle was being fought to develop the country
and usher prosperity. However, some patriots who were with us during the
battle to protect the nation might not be with us in the battle to
develop it, he added.
The President said that the Government had a viable plan to develop
the country and would usher a century of development. “Next we would
surprise the world with our swift march towards development,” he
added.He also said the first oil well will bear results in 2010 and Sir
Lanka could proudly use its own fuel for consumption.
Thanking the international delegates participating at the event the
President said that the numbers indicated the high recognition Sri Lanka
garners in the global circuits. He called upon the gathering to express
tribute and gratitude to the foreign delegates present at the
During the Convention five resolutions were presented for the
conventions approval by senior members of the SLFP such as Political
Resolution, War Heroes Felicitation Resolution, Economic Resolution,
National Reconciliation Resolution and International Affairs Resolution.
The Convention was also attended by representatives of other parties
supporting the SLFP. A large number of Clergy, Cabinet Ministers and
well wishers too were in attendance.