‘More UNP MPs to join us’
Land Development, Human Settlement and Ranaviru Welfare Minister
Johnston Fernando says the undated resignation letters signed by the UNP
candidates are not an obstacle to them to cross over to the Government.
The Minister in an interview with the Sunday Observer said after April
08 General Election more UNP MPs would join the Government. To cover up
its weaknesses, the UNP leadership attempts to keep its candidates by
forcing them to sign undated resignation letters.
Q: The UNP says the Government has no way to obtain a two
third majority. Your comments?
A: The UNP would really end up in a humiliating defeat while
the Government would achieve a landslide victory at the April 08 General
Election. Despite the Opposition efforts to deny a two thirds majority,
the Government is fully convinced of an easy victory. Similarly when the
UNP wanted to defeat us, we won the last Presidential Election with an
overwhelming majority. Today the UNP does not say that they would defeat
the Government at the next election. The struggle launched by the UNP is
not to give two-thirds to the Government. The Government is confident
that it would obtain two-thirds with the blessings of the country’s
President Mahinda Rajapaksa fulfilled all that the UNP claimed he
would not. After mobilising all Opposition forces, though the UNP led
its crusade to the President at the last Presidential Election, at last
they had to eat humble pie when he won with a majority of 1.8 million
votes. This clearly indicates, all predictions made by the UNP went
wrong! Therefore that we will get two-thirds at the upcoming General
Election is crystal clear to the country.
Q: To prevent its MPs crossing over to the Government, the UNP
has obtained undated resignation letters from its candidates. Do you
think this will be workable?
A: This is another feature of bankrupt politics. This shows
the political bankruptcy of the Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe.
He was also in the Cabinet of President Premadasa who would have never
asked him for his resignation letter. The irony is that he has obtained
an undated resignation letter from President Premadasa’s son as well.
This shows there is no democracy within the UNP under Wickremesinghe’s
dictatorship. This shows even the UNP candidates are not ready to accept
the leadership of Wickremesinghe. The Opposition leader knows very well
that another group of UNP MPs will join the Government after the
election. First Prime Minister D.S.Senanayake will go down in history as
the founder of the UNP while Wickremesinghe, the Leader who destroyed
These resignation letters signed by the UNP candidates are not
legally valid. This is just another “joke” by the UNP leadership which
betrays the party and commits traitorous acts against the partymen. This
kind of resignation letters were first obtained by President
J.R.Jayewardene. President Rajapaksa too could have done a similar
thing. Instead he has reposed themselves confidence in his candidates.
The President has clearly stated that his doors are kept open to
everybody to come and go at any time. To cover up his own weaknesses,
Ranil Wickremesinghe attempts to keep his candidates by forcing them to
sign resignation letters. This resignation letter is not a problem for
UNP MPs to cross over to the Government.
Q: According to the UNP, your ministerial portfolio and that
of Minister Indika Bandaranayake are not valid as two of your MP posts
have been cancelled by the party. Your comments?
A: The Government has sought legal advice from the Attorney
General on this issue. The Attorney General said there is no legal
problem for us to hold ministerial portfolios in the Cabinet. After the
dissolution of Parliament, the President reconvened the Parliament to
pass the emergency. Therefore, it was not a new Parliamentary session.
Other matters were included into that day’s agenda. The President
reconvened the parliament only to extend the emergency.
The UNP General Secretary cannot understand this. He is the person
who challenged the Government to hold the Presidential Election and the
General Election. The person who made such challenges does not contest a
seat in the General Election, he knows he cannot win from Kandy
district. He has his name included in the UNP National List. This is the
kind of person who makes these allegations. We should find out how Tissa
Attanayake became a millionaire after he was appointed the UNP General
Q: Do you think the UNP and the Democratic National Alliance
together can form a Government with the number of seats they would
obtain at the election?
A: How can they form a Government? The UNP Leader Ranil
Wickremesinghe is doing his utmost to get more preferential votes and
come to the Parliament.
Q: Why did the UNP and Sarath Fonseka fail to contest under
one alliance at the General Election?
A: Ranil Wickremesinghe wanted to commit various traitorous
acts against the country. He wanted evidence for it. Therefore, he used
Sarath Fonseka and the JVP to sling mud at the President, his sons and
his brothers. According to the information received by us, a huge amount
of foreign funds had been received by Ranil Wickremesinghe, Sarath
Fonseka and the JVP conducted their Presidential election campaign.
Wickremesinghe could fulfil the traitorous acts during the last
Presidential Election campaign. But his plans misfired after the
Presidential Election. I know even Wickremesinghe and his wife also
voted for the President.
In this General Election, UNP and JVP contest separately. The JVP
which also backed the conspiracy hatched by the UNP to betray the
country could also learn a bitter lesson! Sarath Fonseka went against
the President who appointed him as the Army Commander and sent him
abroad to receive further medical treatment after the LTTE suicide
attack. According to the preachings of the Buddha, he had to face the
consequences of his own actions! Therefore, Wickremesinghe got what he
wanted from Sarath Fonseka. At present the “swan” is under arrest while
the party is also under “arrest” . Today it is very difficult to find
the symbol of this party as well. Both JVP and Ranil Wickremesinghe used
Sarath Fonseka to gain political mileage. While Sarath Fonseka is under
arrest, the JVP uses his wife for their political campaign- to gain even
a single MP post under the cover of Sarath Fonseka. The JVP will be
completely wiped out after the election.
Q: Do you think the UNP contesting separately would help them
to secure more seats?
A: No I don’t think so. The UNP’s vote base is 3 million or
3.5 million. At present, the UNP’s vote base is further deteriorating.
The UNP’s vote base will be further reduced by nearly 1.5 million at the
upcoming General Election. A small percentage of UNPers will not cast
their vote. Another percentage will join hands with the President, as
they do not like the party leadership. They know the party leadership
deceived them. They are well aware that Ranil Wickremesinghe did not
field Sarath Fonseka as the Opposition Common Presidential Candidate
with honest intention.
Most of the UNPers believe Wickremesinghe also voted for President
Rajapaksa at the last Presidential Election. Ten days after the defeat
of Sarath Fonseka, Ranil Wickremesinghe met the President.
If Wickremesinghe is genuine, he would have led a demonstration
demanding Sarath Fonseka’s release. Certain percentage of UNPers
supports the President to obtain two third majority at the election. The
UNP vote base in Kurunegala district was reduced by over 100000 votes at
the last Presidential Election. Another 100000 votes will be added to
the Government from Kurunegala district at the forthcoming General
A similar trend will follow in other parts of the country as well. At
present, the UNPers very well know that voting for Ranil Wickremesinghe
means providing again the opportunity for him to enjoy all perks and
betray the country. Therefore, UNPers are not ready to vote for this
kind of person. At this General Election, they will add more votes to
the six million votes obtained by President Rajapaksa at the last
Presidential Election. At present, the UNP finds its difficult to gather
enough people to conduct their election campaign.
Q: Your crossing over to the Government and contest under the
UPFA banner at the forthcoming General Election, have a serious impact
on your vote base?
A: Nearly 150,000 UNPers in Kurunegala district voted for the
President at the last Presidential Election. They fully endorsed the
decision taken by me to join the Government. Another 100000 UNP votes
will be added to the Government at the upcoming General Election. Over
10,000 UNPers in my electorate have already obtained the SLFP
A large number of UNPers in other electorates in Kurunegala district
is also joining hands with me. Even the SLFPers have highly appreciated
the decision taken by me on behalf of the President and the motherland.
Therefore, I can win this election with an overwhelming majority,
because as a politician I always live with the people by giving
leadership to them. My name will go into history as a politician who
crossed over to the Government from the UNP and obtained a resounding
victory under the UPFA within a very short period.
Q: The Opposition argues that the people voted for the
President as he rescued the country, but they will not vote for some
Government Ministers due to its alleged bribery and corruption charges
levelled against them. Your comments?
A: This is just another slogan made by the Opposition. The
Government has put forward the senior and new candidates for the General
Election. After six years, the opportunity is provided to the people to
elect their representatives. Therefore, the people will decide who
should be elected to the Parliament. I think this is applicable to UNP
Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe who has been continuously defeated 17 or 18
elections. If any politician has indulged in bribery or corruption , it
is entirely up to the voters to take a decision on them.
Q: The Opposition complains the Government has deliberately
made the Bribery and Corruption Commission defunct due to charges
levelled against some Government Ministers. How do you respond to this
A: The Bribery and Corruption Commission has not been defunct
as the UNP claims. How many such complaints have been made against
former UNP Ministers? What is the action taken by the UNP against them?
They only launched various mud slinging campaigns against the President
and his brothers? The UNP has failed to provide any evidence on such
allegations. If the UNP has adequate evidence to prove such allegations,
they would have gone to courts or asked to appoint a Parliamentary
Select Committee. Why did the UNP fail to ask for a Select Committee or
disclose the information to the public on such corrupt practices? This
is just another UNP slogan to mislead the people of this country.