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Post Presidential Election testimonies People power terminates Rajapaksa oppression

9 January 2015 11:39 pm - 6     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}



“Those who supported us bravely are national heroes”

– Ven. Rathana Thera

Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) Parliamentarian and the convener of the Pivithuru Hetak movement, Venerable Athuraliye Rathana Thera was a front liner who supported the common candidate Maithripala Sirisena.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror he said that the opposition had been confident of a victory and it was the result of a humongous and courageous effort by the allies in the common opposition, the New Democratic Front.“Until the very last moment it was hard to predict the results but we were confident of a victory. There were atrocious lies that were spread to sling mud at the common candidate Maithripala Sirisena and the common opposition. So, securing a win in such a context should be considered a great victory for us,” he said.

He added that there was fear among the citizens of this country. “We had to work very hard to dispel fear from the people’s minds. People were afraid of the regime and the stories spread by the government. But I am happy to say that those supporting us worked courageously and bravely to overcome all obstacles and secure a victory. Those who supported us and the people who put their trust in us are national heroes,” Rathana Thera added.

When asked about the notion that it was Tamil and Muslim votes that secured Maithripala Sirisena’s victory in the presidential race, Rathana Thera had this to say: “There was some speculation about the Sinhala Buddhist votes and how it would be split. But we saw that the Sinhala Buddhist majority votes were almost equally split between Mahinda Rajapaksa and Maithripala Sirisena. Mahinda Rajapaksa managed to win some seats in the predominately Sinhala Buddhist areas but it was with a narrow margin. On the other hand, we saw that the Sinhala Buddhist swing in the more educated, urban areas was toward Maithripala Sirisena. It made a huge difference,” he noted.

Speaking about the plans of the New Democratic Front in the next few days, he said that Maithripala Sirisena would be sworn in as the President immediately and Ranil Wickremasinghe would be made Prime Minister in the new Cabinet. “After Maithripala Sirisena is sworn in as the President, in the next few days a new Cabinet would be formed. I confirm that the Prime Minister in that Cabinet will be Ranil Wickremasinghe,” he said. Asked whether he will be getting a ministerial portfolio in the new Cabinet, Rathana Thera said, “That is something I have not decided on yet. We are holding internal discussions with regard to that.


“Tamil-speaking people made the difference in this poll”

- M.A Sumanthiran

Tamil National Alliance Parliamentarian M.A Sumanthiran said he thinks Tamil speaking people made the difference. “I think it is the Tamil speaking people who made the difference. Sri Lankan Tamils, Tamils in the Up-country and also Muslims together made the difference,” he said.

He said Tamils expect the integrity which they did not have under the regime of Mahinda Rajapaksa. “Tamils expect the President-elect to treat them equally, something which did not happen under the previous regime. They also want to be treated as equals in the country and their wishes protected,” he said. With regard to the process of reconciliation, the TNA Parliamentarian said if their wishes were considered reconciliation is possible.

 “Uva people are the masterminds behind this election”

-Harin Fernando

Former United National Party (UNP) Parliamentarian and the opposition leader of the Uva Provincial Council said they have a competent set of politicians with them. “We have a good set of politicians who are honoured and are caring towards the country. I believe there is a new future and new era with Honourable Maithripala Sirisena,” he said. Fernando also said that the result of the Uva elections paved the way for President Mahinda Rajapaksa to go for a presidential election. “I believe that our struggle actually paid off by our performance in the Uva elections. I therefore take this opportunity to thank the people in the Uva Province. If not for them MR would not have gone for an election,” he said.


“Minorities were suspicious of the Rajapaksa regime”

- Faizer Mustapha 

Former Deputy Minister Faizer Mustapha who recently joined the common candidate bandwagon said that Maithripala Sirisena’s victory was indicative of the people’s desire for a change. “People needed a change, a secular approach to the political stream in Sri Lanka. In the Rajapaksa regime power was very much centralised and people wanted more delegation and decentralisation of power. Maithripala offered that hope by galvanising all political parties and creating a union of all major parties,” he said.

Mustapha added that he was optimistic that the country would see a positive change because Maithripala Sirisena was a forthright leader and a man of action. When asked about the minority vote pattern he said, “It is sad that we have to refer to ‘Muslim votes’ or ‘Tamil votes’ rather than collectively saying Sri Lankan votes. Anyway I think minorities regarded the Rajapaksa regime with deep suspicion and this led to a major shift in minority votes in the common opposition’s favour.”

“Educated Sinhala Buddhists contributed to our victory”

- Champika Ranwaka

Former Minister and Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) General Secretary Patali Champika Ranawaka said that it was the educated Sinhala Buddhists that contributed to the victory of the common candidate Maithripala Sirisena. “The Rajapaksa regime abused state property shamelessly, they bought over the media, they ran a huge campaign to sling mud at the opposition by spreading lies and false rumours and they tried to scare the people by saying that the common opposition would give way for the LTTE to rise again. They even used military personnel for this. They behaved in a shameless manner but in the end, the people decided to end that era,” he said.

Ranawaka said that he was thankful to the educated Sinhala Buddhists for electing Maithripala Sirisena to end corruption and bring good governance to the country. Asked about the Muslim and Tamil votes, he said, “We got 56 lakhs of votes. It is true we got the majority in the North and East but the major portion of the total votes were not Tamil and Muslim votes, but Sinhala Buddhist votes. If we won by getting the Tamil and Muslim votes, then even Sarath Fonseka could have won in 2010. I am happy that the educated, professional Sinhala Buddhists of this country stood by us and led us to a phenomenal victory,” he said. He added: “We should expel this corrupt family and dedicate ourselves to ending corruption. That should be the priority. They tried to manipulate the polls to their advantage by misusing and abusing their power and state resources. They tried to throw their money and fool the people. But the people proved that they cannot be fooled anymore.

We don’t even want Mahinda Rajapaksa’s shadow to fall on the country anymore.” He also said that after swearing in Maithripala Sirisena as the President, a new Cabinet will be formed under a new Prime Minister after which a national unity government would be formed. After this the 100-day progamme would be implemented and then Parliament will be dissolved and a general election would be held. “We need to immediately impeach the Chief Justice as he is extremely corrupt and politicised. We will also make the Defence Ministry more independent. We will conduct investigations and punish white collar criminals and the fraudsters. We will take necessary action against those who have bought over state and private media,” Ranawaka said.

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  Comments - 6

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  • Dr.Mahi Dissanayake Saturday, 10 January 2015 06:16 PM

    congragulations on a historic win .our wish is that the new Regime will work towards the prosperity of our motherland in Honesty and develope a just society.You have a tough task,We are watching you like a Hawk.Best of Luck

    Riyaz Rauf (Canada) Saturday, 10 January 2015 06:58 PM

    I totally agree with all these Honorable gentlemen on there seasonings for the victory . One thing though is very clear , ITS THE UNITED EFFORTS OF ALL DIVERSE COMMUNITIES COMING TOGETHER UNITED AS ONE that enabled this victory. "A Chain’s Strength is Determined by its Weakest Link" , Each and every one of you supported each other and made the whole chain strong . Keep up this unity and lets make Mother Lanka strong in every sense. Wish you all well.

    sivapuvana Sunday, 11 January 2015 03:49 AM

    yes mostly all who voted for MR are not educated its rowdies and thugs

    rama Sunday, 11 January 2015 05:41 AM

    It is wisdom that prevailed. People were not going to get caught in all the sweet talk of the Rajapaksa regime they were fed up of the crime, the lies and the High living of the Rajapakse family. The Sri Lankans were looking for honest politicians whom they could approach and the win was the result of all these cumulative factors

    iemerald Saturday, 10 January 2015 05:48 PM

    it was sri lankans who made the difference. sinhalese tamils burghers malays whatever buddhists christians moslems hindus. they are all sri lankans. sri lankan first anything else is time idiots like sumanthirans get that into their thick heads.if he wants to think tamil first then he should live in tamil nadu not here as a citizen.even people in tamil nadu i think indian first.

    iemerald Saturday, 10 January 2015 05:50 PM

    is champika trying to say that 42% of sinhalese buddhist are uneducated.

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