local government Elections Who said what | Sunday Observer

local government Elections Who said what

President Maithripala Sirisena

The Pohottuwa party led by G.L.Peiris, is most enthusiastically attacking the recent ‘bond deal’ and the revelations therein the commission report, but they try to cover up the fact the Bond Commission report reveals similar deals under the MR regime, how they swindled the Employees Provident Fund (EPF). The Commission has found that such underhand bond issuances have continued since 2008. This is the truth.

Stealing public finances, money that belonged to the people of this country, through the Central Bank has happened from 2008 to 2016. Today, VIP swindlers from various political parties have joined forces sans party differences to save their skin. I will not spare even my own brothers if they steal people’s money.

Therefore, I urge the citizens of the country to be cautious in exercising the franchise at the February 10 election. I say, the vote that is not used on SLFP or UPFA or on the Betel Leaf or Hand symbols at the forthcoming local government election will be a vote to strengthen ‘the corrupt’.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe

We have the best electoral system in the country today, no one needs mountains of money to campaign, no one fights with each other, there is no necessity for violence. Only the UNP can provide the stability that the country needs to steer towards development. Our party is the strongest within the Parliament without any fragmentation or infighting. wWe will not serve UNPers and the others on different plates, we will punish the wrongdoers, irrespective of their allegiances. There is no issue in having a debate on the Bond Commission report as there is nothing new about it. We have had several debates on the issue.

We have listened to the people’s voice and taken action to probe wrongdoing. Today, there is freedom for anyone to criticize the President and the Prime Minister without fear. There will not be any white vans or abductions. People should not forget the dark era where they feared to speak for their rights, let alone fight.

The freedom of expression is 100 percent ensured under the Yahapalana government. The government will continue till 2020. There is no question of a split. And your vote at the LG polls should be to ensure the stability of the government and the country. The ruling party should be given the mandate to run local bodies to avoid political turmoil that may occur if local bodies headed by other parties sabotage development work.

UNP Colombo Mayoral candidate Rosy Senanayake

Colombo is unique. It is a highly sought after residential area and also the financial capital of the country. We have the very rich and the poorest of people living in the city. Also, we have a huge migrant population that comes into the city daily.

Meeting all of their needs is quite a challenge. However, with the strong team the United National Party has nominated for Colombo, I am confident I will be able to successfully address those challenges.

Minimizing congestion and reducing travel time will be a priority.

There will be transparency and efficiency under my leadership. The Councillors, staff and I will be available via App and chat rooms to have interactive communication with the public. A website will be set up for each Councillor so they will be directly accessible to their constituents.

I plan to hold “Town Hall” meetings in different locations every three months, where the constituents will be able to meet with me, the Councillors and staff, and address any concerns.

Beautification of the city is important; however, we must be mindful of the consequences and plan carefully. One of the first areas that will be spruced up is the Beira Lake area.

Our vision is to make Colombo a commercially-viable and efficient city like Singapore or Kuala Lumpur while also preserving the environment.

JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake

Currently, the people are dissatisfied with the allegedly corrupt individuals high up in the political ladder. While local government members cannot be part of major frauds, till recent times their role was to protect their respective leaders and parties and in return, given the chance to swindle some money reserved for local projects.

The JVP hopes to get the proper representative for the villages elected. If this is possible the JVP can assure the LG bodies will provide the people with the necessary facilities and services. We did ‘walk the talk’ at Tissamaharama Pradeshiya Sabha for many years.

A local government has no responsibility in formulating national policies. What they are required to do is gather tax monies from those living in the area and use these funds to maintain necessary services. The members of the two main parties that have controlled these local governments in the past have been corrupt and inefficient, they did nothing but waste public funds.

The JVP has put in place a strategy to gain power at the next general election. The LG polls will be the starting point. To achieve this target, the party hopes to make favourable gains in the LG polls and establish a broad national movement targeting the 2020 election. We are therefore actively participating in the forthcoming polls. We hope the people will realize the truth and vote for the JVP.

SLPP Colombo Mayoral candidate Dr.Pradeep Kariyawasam

I think, the Colombo city limit should stretch up to Nugegoda, Battaramulla and Angoda to ease off traffic congestion and concentration of public services. Rather than trying to build everything within the small Metropolis, we must expand and spread out the commercial and state buildings so that we can effectively address the clogging of the city’s road network that makes Colombo unattractive.

If I get elected, my emphasis will be on housing for people in ramshackle settlements and also the dengue eradication mainly through development of shanty areas, which I did during my long service as the Municipal Medical Officer. Easing traffic congestion through proper management of road network is another area of my concern. The current uni-flow system is not working properly. I know this is a major demand of the people living in the Colombo MC area.

My belief is that Municipal Commissioners should be professionals, like doctors and engineers who are conversant with the task they are expected to fulfil. It had been like that in the past, until recently where they appointed SLAS officers to fill this very important seat.

I hope the people will vote for professionals over ethnic and religious divides and elect competent individuals who ‘can and will’ serve them.

UPFA Mayoral candidate Azath Sally

We will launch a massive development with the private sector so that Colombo will look more beautiful. Colombo needs to be one of the cleanest cities. When the then Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew came to Sri Lanka, he said “I am going to transform Singapore into a Sri Lanka ” and he did it. But President J.R.Jayewardene’s dream of making Colombo a Singapore could not be realized. Cleanliness, dengue mosquito menace, garbage and drainage problems still remain unsolved.

We could see the amount of fuel we burn daily, and the valuable foreign exchange on the fuel import that we waste due to traffic congestion. We should have a monorail system in Colombo. Although the former regime signed an agreement to start a monorail system, nothing happened.

I have been invited to contest as the UPFA mayoral candidate. This is going to be a historic election, as for the first time, a different party leader has been asked to lead the UPFA campaign for the CMC election. With the support of all UPFA coalition partners, I think we can bring about a difference.

My aim is to run all the 20 departments in the CMC profitably because we utilize tax payers’ money. With my experience in the Local Government and the Council, I think I can effect the necessary change.

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa

We will be coming as a new party with a new vision and a new team. Our symbol is ‘pohottuwa’. Make use of this election as a referendum to express your opposition to the government that has failed the people, big time.

We are not racists, you must have faith in us and vote for us at the upcoming election. During our regime, we allocated large sums of money to develop the Northern region, against the advice of our own government members who said these allocations will not bring us votes at any election. We were committed to develop this region, that was suppressed for so many years due to the war.

JVP Colombo Mayoral candidate Dr.Ranil Jayasena

My decision to enter politics wasn’t sudden. I’m a Consultant Gastrointestinal Surgeon who retired from service recently. I was forced by my patients to come forward.

I felt very sorry for the people, and what these politicians have been doing to ruin this country. When the elections were declared I was invited to contest as the Colombo Mayoral Candidate.

Amid beautiful buildings you see a pathetic situation in the Colombo city, the place is full of blocked drains, and uncollected garbage with flies and mosquitoes having a field day. I saw small houses accommodating nearly six to seven people, where its members had to sleep according to a roster. Some houses didn’t have electricity. These people need to be provided with adequate accommodation and health facilities. However, nothing has been done to this effect.

The two major political parties have ruled this country for seventy years; UNP and the SLFP. With the SLFP broken into two factions, now we have a corrupt triangle formed by UNP, SLFP and SLPP.

If I am appointed, I will put a full stop to all this corruption and have a very transparent and non-corrupt policy where there will be no opportunity to waste money.

Compiled by Manjula Fernando