- He thanked the people of Matara who protected him and placed their confidence in him
By Yohan Perera
Former finance minister Mangala Samaraweera who had handed over nominations to contest the general election from the Matara District yesterday withdrew his nomination and announced his retirement from active politics.
He requested the people of Matara to refrain from casting their preferential votes for him at the upcoming general election though his name appears in the electoral list as an SJB candidate.
Mr. Samaraweera thanked the people who courageously provided him protection and placed their confidence in him for three decades.
He conveyed his decision to UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and SJB Leader Sajith Premadasa and held a meeting at his residence with local government representatives from Matara and briefed them about his decision. Expressing his views Mr. Samaraweera said President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s leadership has been inefficient and short-sighted, and that this has been proven within the brief span of six months. He said under President Gotabaya there was ethnic, racial and religious polarization among the people of the country while the state was being militarized. He said the opposition did not seem to have a clear understanding of its role and duty at a time when the nation was faced with such grave challenges.
“If our nation is to be resurrected it is necessary that the fundamental values and principles of the United National Party are activated. I deeply regret the division that has occurred in the Party,” Mr. Samaraweera said.
He said he worked for more than 30 years for united principles and policies within parliamentary politics, with the objective of raising the standard of living of all citizens of Sri Lanka and did his best in bringing about reconciliation.
- He conveyed his decision to the leaders of the UNP and the SJB