UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said today the UNF and other political parties will together form a new alliance with a new face to pull the nation out of the present crisis and urged all parties to join this new political force.
“It is not possible to build up a nation through undemocratic and destructive means. We will not allow anyone to destroy this nation which we have managed to safeguard at the risk of our lives. I promise to pull this nation through the present curse by associating myself in a new and a broad alliance. Therefore I invite everyone to join this new political force,” Mr. Wickremesinghe said in a special statement last evening.
Mr. Wickremesinghe also said the following in his statement: “Our country is facing a complex and unfortunate crisis. There is a breakdown of morals, democracy and the rule of law. This crisis will destroy our country and our children's future. This is not about who will be Prime Minister (PM), or who will be a minister, or who will run the government. This is about safeguarding democracy and the sovereignty of the nation.
“In 2015, the people gave us a mandate for good governance; to end the Rajapaksa rule and build a democratic and civilized society. The two main parties united to fulfil this mandate. We strengthened democracy, stabilized the economy, and began debt repayment. Through programmes like ‘Gam Peraliya’ we empowered the people. We were on the right track to build a society without fear or doubt. But this is being destroyed now.
“I have faced many challenges. I have been criticized and ridiculed. But we faced these challenges patiently while upholding the people's mandate. As a result, the country benefited in the last three-and-a-half years. This was not easy. But look at the disruption caused to the country in the last two weeks.
“I have always worked towards safeguarding democracy. I have never thought of my self-interests in politics. I gave up being a presidential candidate. I rejected LTTE overtures to associate with them in 2005 as I did not want to jeopardize the nation for personal gain. I strived to safeguard democracy then, and I am prepared to do so now.
“On 26 October, the President took unconstitutional measures against the people's mandate. He attempted to transfer power to those rejected by the people. He prorogued parliament. Under article 42(4), the President must appoint as PM, the person who commands the confidence of the House.
“A total 116 MPs informed the Speaker that the President's actions were illegal. They said the person appointed as PM must demonstrate that he commands a majority in the House. The Indian Parliament has taken such steps on several occasions. I faced and defeated a no-confidence motion in April, and proved I had the confidence of the House. But the President dissolved parliament, despite fixing dates to convene it.
“The President talked about 'buying' MPs. He knows about this best because he wooed UNP and TNA MPs with portfolios. People have lost faith in MPs due to this unfortunate situation.
“The President also warned there could be killings if the House convened. Parliament has faced tense moments, in our country and in other countries, but there have been no killings. The House is controlled by the Speaker, and he maintains order. The Speaker met party leaders recently and there was no talk of killings. The President should have informed the Speaker if he knew of any planned killings. Instead, he took a stubborn decision. The country's image has been tarnished, and we have lost international credibility.
“We are currently holding discussions to build a broad alliance to save the country from this crisis. The UNF will form a new alliance and come before the people with a new face. The youth are frustrated by the current situation. We will work towards saving the nation from this unfortunate situation. We will introduce a constitution that will strengthen democracy. We will face any challenge to safeguard democracy, the rule of law, decency and the sovereignty of the people. Let’s unite and fight to save our country from falling under the control of a dictatorial regime." (Yohan Perera)