Breaking her silence, former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, today in a statement, requested the people to vote for the candidates with integrity to help take forward the mandate given on January 8.
She said she decided to place the country before her party at this moment.
In a lengthy statement issued to the media, she said a silent revolution took place on January 8 in the country, and it was a victory for the establishment of democracy. Identifying herself as someone who contributed towards it, she said it was her duty to explain her standpoint at this moment.
She said, “Patriotic citizens who respect freedom and democracy, rose against the cruel oppression of the Rajapaksa regime in a harmless struggle. It enabled them to unseat this oppressive regime with the use of ballots. Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa participated in this election exploiting State resources and the armed forces".
She accused Mr. Rajapaksa of spreading racism and using religion to achieve political ends.
Asserting that the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) was a party founded on democratic principles, she said the party had stood for the formation of people friendly governments.
Ms. Kumaratunga noted that she had decided, at this juncture, to pay attention to requests made to her by many political party leaders and civil society movements. “A majority wanted to bring about a change under me. Yet, I did not intend to stay in politics continuously. It is a disgraceful act for anyone to try to remain in politics after serving in the highest echelons. Unfortunately, the person that was defeated was taking time to scuttle political reforms,” she said.
“I am saddened to witness the decline of SLFP seniors, and them not having the need to reorganize the party. Nonetheless, I will clarify my position to all SLFPers. It was a struggle for me to decide on whether to stay with a group undermining the noble values of SLFP or to join together with a team that has a vision and a mission to lead the country forward. After deep thought into this matter, I decided that the country should be built before the party. It is all the more important to march forward with the January 8th victory. My love and affection for the SLFP will never dissipate. I am ever committed to uphold its principles and to establish an enlightened rule.”