Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa today said the upcoming parliamentary election will give the voting public an opportunity to chose proven ability over ‘Yahapalana lies’ and deception.
In a lengthy statement issued over the Parliamentary Election 2020, Prime Minister Rajapaksa said this election is essential to complete the change that the people of this country initiated at the Presidential election last year.
“This election is a democratic right that we won with great difficulty. The Yahapalana political parties tried to get this Parliamentary election delayed by petitioning courts but the Supreme Court did not permit that to happen,” he said.
The statement further said, “One thing that was proven during this prolonged transitional period after the presidential election was that like the government led by me between 2006 and 2014, the present government led by President Gotabaya is also capable of prevailing over apparently insurmountable odds.
We will be facing this election, with a major achievement which has brought us to the notice of the entire world even during the transitional period after the presidential election. The people are only too well aware of what would have happened to this country if the Covid-19 pandemic had hit Sri Lanka when the Yahapalana cabal was in power.
The Yahapalana Government from 2015 to 2019 was preoccupied with fighting off demonstrators with tear gas, water cannon and baton charges. On most days of the week, Lotus Road near the presidential secretariat resembled a battle field. You will recall that a baton charge on a demonstration by disabled ex-armed forces personnel resulted in one disabled ex-soldier losing an eye. The agitators in front of the American embassy who were recently hauled off to courts by the police were themselves frequent recipients of the Yahapalana government’s tear gas, water cannon and baton charge hospitality on Lotus Road.
Those who never said a word about the way the Yahapalana government responded to demonstrations are now making a hue and cry about this single, minor incident that took place under our watch.
As a government, we are not happy with the manner in which that demonstration was dealt with, and we have said so publicly. Those involved in this incident were professional agitators who know how to provoke the police. Even after a police officer read out the court order banning the demonstration, the agitators claimed they were not shown any such order. The police also should not allow themselves to be provoked in that manner. These agitators need images of scuffles with the police on the streets. That’s what ensures their livelihood.
Except for that isolated minor incident, our opponents have no allegations of repression to make. Some argue that we treated the Colombo agitators and those who attended the funeral of the late Mr. Thondaman differently.
Arumugam Thondaman was the leader of the Up-country Tamil community. When we imposed curfew in the Nuwara Eliya district to prevent large numbers of grief stricken people from attending the funeral of their leader, the people of that area cooperated.
Holding a demonstration in Colombo in defiance of a court order, over an incident that had taken place in the USA which has no relevance to Sri Lanka, is an entirely different thing.
In order to safeguard the progress made in controlling the spread of Covid-19, I request all candidates to be mindful of the election related guidelines issued by the health authorities and also to conduct an environmentally friendly and exemplary election campaign.”