Election victory paves way for implementation of
Mahinda Chintana Idiri Dekma policies:
Opposition no challenge to UPFA
In an interview with Daily News SLFP
General Secretary and Agriculture and Mahaveli Development Minister
Maithripala Sirisena said the UPFA does not have a challenge from the
Opposition political parties at the upcoming Parliamentary election. He
was hopeful that the SLFP led UPFA would win a sufficient number of
seats in Parliament to continue the dynamic development program started
under the Mahinda Chinthana policy of President Mahinda Rajapaksa
Q: How confident are you of winning
the upcoming General Election?
A: There is no Opposition
visible in the campaign. It is in total disarray. Therefore there is no
competition or a fight. There was no comparably favourable time like
this for the SLFP to face a General Election. President Mahinda
Rajapaksa’s era is truly the golden era of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party.
Since the Opposition has no credibility as an alternative to us we are
confident that we would gain a two-thirds majority.
Q: One of the main requests the UPFA
has for the electorate is to ask the voters for a two-thirds majority in
Parliament. Is it possible to get that number of seats under the PR
Minister Maithripala Sirisena
A: As far as we are aware
several experts have expressed their views about the Proportional
Representation electoral system and they said no one could get a two
thirds majority under this system. But the recent Provincial Council
election results proved that it was a myth and we won with absolute
majorities polling over 65 percent of the vote. The election
mathematical formulas were reversed and in three Provincial Councils we
gained more than two-thirds majority. Therefore even at the General
Election we would get a two-thirds majority.
Q: The UNP says it will form an
alliance with the Democratic National Alliance in Parliament. Probably
the TNA also may be in such an alliance. In such a scenario will it be a
challenge to the UPFA?
A: The UNP as usual is
daydreaming. They could not form a Government with or without other
parties as none of these parties are going to garner the sufficient
number of seats in Parliament. The UNP could not get the public support
that they usually got as their act is completely off colour and
They are again divided into factions. The Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe
has already done the maximum damage to the party and there is nothing
more that he could do. On the other hand our campaign is led by
President Rajapaksa who had proved his leadership and the people are not
looking for a change today, as they are aware that we have kept our
promises to the people.
Q: Usually the UPFA had faired poorly
at elections in Colombo and urban areas. Do you think that this could
change in the forthcoming General Election?
A: At the Presidential
Elections held on January 26, Colombo District results were in favour of
the President. We have entered strong team of ministers contesting from
Colombo so that we could get more votes. It would bring more votes to
the UPFA since there were many candidates from different parties in our
alliance representing a number of parties and groups.
As we won the Presidential Election easily winning the General
Election is not difficult as the Opposition is weaker than us.
Q: There are many clashes reported
among the candidates of parties like the UNP. Are there similar clashes
among the UPFA that may disillusion the voters?
A: Clashes among
candidates was one of main evils created by the PR system. It was the
fault of the electoral system and it had nothing to do with the
candidates. Also this was not the first time that the candidates had
clashes amongst them. Since 1978 we had experienced the ugly and
irrational conflicts within party members of the same party due to this
election system. But we have told our candidates in no uncertain terms
that if any of them resort to such aberrations, disciplinary action will
Q: The UNP is claiming it is the only
party that has a policy of economic growth and will give the people
consumer goods at lower prices. How do you compare the position with the
A: This was another piece
of fiction put on by the UNP. How did Ranil Wickremesinghe lose the
election in 2004, if he had known the solutions to economic problems
like the Cost of Living and economic growth formulas? He could not lead
the government to achieve any considerable economic growth from 2001.
In fact he became more unpopular for his negative policies during
that period. He lost the election in 2004 mainly due to three reasons.
The cost of living problem which he could not manage, the secret pact
between Wickremesinghe and the LTTE terrorists and the retrenchment in
the public sector and devaluation of public sector bodies.
Another major blunder he committed discouraging the farmers of our
country was unforgettable. During the UNP regime farmers committed
suicide by taking poison.
The UNP led government destroyed the Paddy Marketing Board and sold
all the State owned institutions to the private sector for a song. Its
ridiculous ever to consider remedies for the economic growth prescribed
by Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe since most of his party
members too do not agree with some of his ideas.
He always meddles with things that are unknown to him and gets into
Q: President Mahinda Rajapaksa has
promised that the next Cabinet of Ministers will be a small one. Do you
believe that it could be done and if necessary will some Ministers agree
to be ordinary Members of Parliament?
A: Everything would be
decided upon the verdict of the people. The Executive President too
would make his own decisions based on that. We as party members would
support the President on this issue. One thing is certain. The SLFP led
UPFA coalition would record a historic victory at the forthcoming
General Election even under this electoral system. It would pave the way
for Mahinda Chinthana Idiri Dekma policies to be implemented without