United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickremesinghe today challenged president Rajapaksa to respond to the questions he had raised on whether the latter had met members of the LTTE in America and why the government had not intervened in the case involving the ban on the LTTE -- in the European Court of Justice (ECJ).
“I asked several questions from the president, but he has not responded to them as yet. I continue to ask whether he met LTTE members in America, why the government did not intervene in the case in the European Court of Justice, whether it will appeal against the lifting of the LTTE ban and why the government did not take any action against the bank accounts and wealth of the LTTE in America,” Mr. Wickremesinghe said.
He said he had responded to a question raised by the president about whether he had met LTTE members in Europe and awaited the president’s response to his question.
Mr. Wickremesinghe addressing a meeting at the Hyde Park grounds to advise the polling agents appointed for the 12,000 polling divisions to organise the party’s presidential election campaign said he would campaign against the family politics of the present regime and would strive to work for the people’s power.
He said he would scrap the executive presidency and re-introduce the 17th Amendment and establish an independent Police Commission, Elections Commission, and Public Service Commission when he came to power. “We have solutions to the issues of the working people and youth unemployment,” he said.
Mr. Wickremesinghe said the government was calling him a traitor at every election and asked whether the person who disfranchised Sarath Fonseka while giving the franchise to former LTTE leader KP was not a real traitor.
“If one is trying to get the money of the LTTE without participating in the case against the LTTE in Europe, is he not a traitor? If one amends the Buddhist Temporalities Act and attacks Dr. Nonis who spoke for the country at the last UNHRC in Geneva, is he not a traitor? Who gave the contract to an LTTE member to build the official residence of the Sri Lanka’s permanent representative to the UN in Geneva? Wasn’t he a real traitor?” Mr. Wickremesinghe asked.
UNP deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa said that although some people say that UNP could not win elections, they would disprove that in practice at the next presidential election just as the soldiers won the war despite claims by some people that it was impossible.
Mr. Premadasa said he would take up the task of Mr. Wickremesinghes election campaign and promised that he would strive for Mr. Wickremesinghes’s victory.
He invited all those who had left the party to forget the past and rejoin the UNP and work to form a UNP government.
UNP assistant leader Ravi Karunanayake, General Secretary Tissa Attanayake, Leadership Council Chairman Karu Jayasuriya, Party President Kabir Hashim and National Organiser Daya Gamage also addressed the gathering. (Ajith Siriwardana)