UNP Leadership Council Karu Jayasuriya MP said that the recent violent incidents targeting rallies and activists of the common opposition amply demonstrate the lack of democratic space under the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime.
Issuing a statement, Mr. Jayasuriya said, “It is the best evidence of the urgent need to change course before this state terror and violence consumes us all.”
The statement reads:
An election meeting of the Common Opposition which was scheduled to be held in Haputale came under attack by Government goons just 10 minutes before the arrival of Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. The meeting was organized by Opposition Leader of the Uva Provincial Council and former UNP Parliamentarian Harin Fernando.
On Sunday, prominent local members of the UPFA assaulted artistes and civil society activists in the President's home district of Hambantota, injuring several. The UNP Opposition Leader of the Hambantota Municipal Council Ayub Khan was attacked by ‘Rajapaksa goons’ at a protest campaign organized by civil society activists near the Hambantota bus halt. This attack was led by the infamous Hambantota Mayor Eraj Fernando of toy pistol fame. The opposition had been at the receiving end of his heavy handed thuggery only a few months ago.
In that instance, Fernando an elected representative of the Ruling Government got away with assaulting and intimidating members of Parliament from the UNP on a fact finding mission to the Mattala Airport. Ludicrously, he later claimed that the pistol he was wielding was a toy. This farce was accepted by President Rajapaksa who rather than admonishing his minion went on to reward him for his loyalty. Eraj Fernando is a symptom of the disease the Rajapaksa government has inflicted upon this country. From the highest echelons of power to local level politicians this regime has not only provided impunity for corruption and violence to thrive - it has actively encouraged these criminal activities. It is for these reasons that a person such as the Hambantota Mayor who should be behind bars for his previous crimes is today at the forefront of the Rajapaksa election campaign in the District.
As in previous cases, during these two incidents as well, the Police had watched passively and in some cases shielded the culprits as the opposition activists were beaten by ‘Rajapaksa goons’.
The common opposition wishes to thank the Rajapaksa regime and its provincial level goons for their demonstration of their true selves once again. They have served to remind all Sri Lankans of how desperately this country needs change. Intimidation and violence is not going to hinder the juggernaut that is going to create change in this country at the next election. The Rajapaksa regime has sensed opposition momentum. It has witnessed the peoples' power of our movement of righteous forces. This is the reason for their behaviour that resembles hooligans and lunatics escaped from the asylum.
This circus ends on January 8. On that day, all of these thugs, goons, drug peddlers, rapists and murderers will see their day of justice dawn. The justice that cannot be expected from the Rakapaksa regime will be delivered by the people of this country.
Say no to violence and impunity. Vote against the Rajapaksa thuggery and intimidation. Vote for Maithripala Sirisena and a new country.