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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 system?

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 unpopular now.

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 be taken.

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 UPFA’s record?

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 trouble.

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 constraints.


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