By Lahiru Pothmulla
The results of the Elpitiya Pradeshiya Sabha (PS) election reflected not only the opinion of the Sinhalese but also of the Tamils and Muslims countrywide, the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) said yesterday.
SLPP Chairman and Professor G.L. Peiris said the issues in the country were not limited to people in Elpitiya and therefore the PS results reflected the opinion of all communities.
“Plights including unemployment, economic downturn and increasing cost of living are not limited to Elpitiya. Therefore, the results can be generalised sans ethnic boundaries. If elected, Gotabaya Rajapaksa will not be the President for Sinhalese only, but for all communities. Mr. Rajapaksa has the backing of everyone,” he said addressing a news briefing.
He said the representatives of the Muslim community met SLPP leader Mahinda Rajapaksa following the Digana riots and expressed their disappointment over the government’s inaction to avert riots.
“They requested the former President to intervene and put an end to ethnic riots. Today, Muslim businessmen have no income as their businesses have been affected. Similarly, the Tamils are fed up with the government because it had failed to hold elections for Northern and other PCs. The Rajapaksa Government knew it will lose the Northern PC poll but still went ahead and conducted it,” Prof. Peiris said.
On a different note, he said the Elpitiya PS election campaign of the UNP was steered by NDF presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa but still lost it.
“The UNP was only able to secure 24 percent of votes under Mr. Premadasa’s leadership. When Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe was the opposition leader in 2011, the UNP secured 30% votes from Elpitiya PS,” he said.
The Rajapaksa Government knew it will lose the Northern PC poll but still went ahead and conducted it