SLFP General Secretary Dayasiri Jayasekara today questioned the rationale behind the New Democratic Front (NDF) releasing its manifesto after the start of postal voting and said it was an indication that the NDF had neglected 1.5 million public servants.
He said this was the first time that a major political party in Sri Lanka had failed to do so and that he hoped President Maithripala Sirisena would be on Gotabaya Rajapaksa's stage at least at the last moment.
He told the SLFP-SLPP news briefing that the President had given a firm undertaking to the SLFP that he would never be on the UNP stage but had consented to SLFP members supporting SLPP candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
“The presidential candidates are carrying out a mud-slinging campaign up to now. But for the first time a leader has emerged with policies and a programme to take the country and people to new heights,” he said.
Mr. Jayasekera said Sri Lanka had not progressed in the past 70 years after gaining independence and lagged behind in almost all fields while all other countries in the region achieved their development targets.
"The governments that ruled the country since independence must be held responsible for the present predicament of the country. The need of the hour is a leader who has a vision to take the country to new frontiers and a mission to fulfil the aspirations of all communities and he is Gotabhaya Rajapaksa," he said adding that Mr. Rajapaksa's manifesto had given solutions to the concerns of public servants. "While the NDF candidate goes around the country promising so many goodies and perks to unsuspecting voters like Santa Clause, SLPP candidate Gotabaya is interacting with masses with his pragmatic and practical policies. That is the difference between the two candidates."
Mr. Jayasekera said the lack of a vision and policy of the UNF led yahapalana government, 436 state ventures had collapsed during 2015 and 2019. They had recorded losses by two folds in comparison to losses recorded in 2014 and 16 state ventures out of the have incurred a loss of Rs.157 billion, a rise from a loss of Rs. 87 billion in 2007.
The national carrier, SriLankan alone has recorded a loss of Rs. 40 billion. The loss at the CEB is a massive Rs. 180 billion under this government. An extremely pragmatic and practical project has been proposed in Mr. Rajapaksa’s manifesto to take all these loss-making state ventures out of this mess.
One of the main reasons for the colossal losses incurred at these state ventures was the appointment of political stooges who do not have proper professional experience or academic qualifications to the management.
Mr. Jayasekara claimed a conspiracy has been hatched to prevent the victory of Rajapaksa with the aim of bringing another legal action against him. (Sandun A Jayasekera and Dayana Udayangani)