People should think wisely and elect a bold Parliament which could bring about economic and political stability instead of a government which would create a nation which goes begging, UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said over the weekend.
Speaking during the opening of a UNP office in Matara on Saturday, Mr Wickremesinghe said people should handover the country to those who have successfully led the nation towards stability since gaining independence.
"Think who could create a bold nation that does not go begging from the world and vote accordingly," Mr Wickremesinghe said.
"No one had gone begging in the past like the present regime. Late Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike did not manage the economy effectively during her time. However, she did not go begging from the world. She only prohibited consuming rice once a week," he said.
"Our government took over a dead economy in 2015. We managed to win back the GSP plus. However, we faced difficulties. There were droughts and floods. We faced a 52-day political crisis and then the Easter Sunday attacks as we started stabilizing the economy. We were also able to rebuild the tourism industry which fell after the Easter Sunday attack. However, we handed over the government when President Gotabaya Rajapaksa won the presidential poll," he also said.
"I would like to tell the people to compare the first 100 days of the Yahapalana government and the 100 days of the present government and decide on who had done better," he further said.
Also he said government should at least reduce fuel prices as the price of a barrel of crude oil has declined by 30 percent.
Mr Wickremesinghe noted that UNP will contest the general election from an alliance this time.
MP Mangala Samaraweera said people in Matara should show their traditional boldness in deciding whom to vote at the general election. "Elect a bold Parliament that could resolve issues," he said.
Mr Samaraweera said it would be possible for the Matara District to make an impact on the final result of the general election if the UNP could maintain three seats it won at the 2015 general election. "Concentrate on house-to-house campaigning as this was the secret behind SLPP success at the presidential election," he said. (Yohan Perera and Krishan Jeevaka Jayaruk)