While admitting that the National People’s Power (NPP) did not poll as expected, its presidential candidate Anura Kumara Dissanayake said his party would continue the struggle against corruption, misappropriation and nepotism while promoting democracy, rule of law and independence of the judiciary and the media in and out of parliament.
“The election was, in fact, a Nadagama (tragicomedy). It was no secret that a truly people-friendly political force with a socialist ideology cannot thrive in such a system,” he said.
Addressing a post-election news briefing held today at the NPP office, he said more than 400,000 votes he received at the election fell short of NPP's prospects and that it was a setback to the movement.
“But by uniting all professionals, intellectuals, artists and other right-thinking people under the NPP banner, we achieved something in this election. With our pragmatic, futuristic and scientific national policies that address most or all pressing issues of this country, we have shown the electorate that there is no alternative than the policy and work programme of the NPP if we were to save the country from the current mess,” he said.
He said the most disturbing outcome of the election was the widening gap between the South and North East and creation of mistrust, misunderstanding and hostility between the Sinhala and Tamil speaking communities.
“Although election results were a setback for the NPP, we fight against anti-people initiatives of the government.
Election results were a reflection of the fear of a Sinhalese dominated and discriminative power base in Colombo among Tamil speaking voters and a possible minority instigated backlash in the Sinhala dominated South. Both communities felt a sense of insecurity, but these sentiments were unfounded and unrealistic,” he said.
On a different note, he said certain media outlets played a pivotal role to create this fear psychosis in the North and South when the time was ripe.
“The bipartisan, biased and unethical behaviour of a few TV stations, social platforms and newspapers were despicable, heinous and contemptuous. Even the Elections Commission (EC) did not intervene to prevent the highly-offensive actions of these outlets. If we are to conduct free and fair elections in the future, we must have some control over these partisan media outlets,” he said.
He said the NPP was ready for reforms and to revisit its strategy before the next PC or parliamentary polls and that the JVP had encountered similar setbacks in the past but bounced back unscathed. (Sandun A. Jayasekera)