SLFP Ministers gung-ho that President must be 2019 candidate | Sunday Observer

SLFP Ministers gung-ho that President must be 2019 candidate

Duminda Dissanayake
Duminda Dissanayake

In the current political indecisive climate about the next SLFP presidential candidate, the party’s National Organiser and Minister of Irrigation Duminda Dissanayake says all 23 MPs in the National Unity Government were unanimously backing President Maithripala Sirisena to contest the 2019 presidential election.

“Twenty million people in Sri Lanka live in a free and just society today, due to President Sirisena becoming the common candidate and defeating his predecessor, Mahinda Rajapaksa,” Dissanayake claimed.

Had former President Rajapaksa been elected for a third term in January 2015, the country would have faced international sanctions, Dissanayake said adding, “We are safe today from all those restrictions because of President Sirisena. Unfortunately no one appreciates this.”

Minister Dissanayake said that while news websites were strongly critical of the President and even his family, media personnel remain safe from white vans and other harassment. “During the previous regime if they had criticised the President this way, journalists would have been abducted by a white van,” he asserted.

“Actually, what we gifted to the country is freedom and democracy and in this backdrop anybody can write anything false or baseless. During the No Confidence Motion, we clearly observed how a particular private TV station lambasted the Prime Minister ruthlessly. Another private TV station has started attacking the President since of late. Today democracy is blooming thanks to the campaign spearheaded by President Sirisena,” Dissanayake said, paying a glowing tribute to his boss.

If President Rajapaksa had been re-elected, and economic sanctions had been imposed on the country, Sri Lanka would have been isolated and winning the war would have had no value.

“It is because of President Sirisena that the GSP Plus was restored and the EU fishing ban lifted. The number of roads, bridges, culverts and electricity projects constructed by the previous Government cannot be taken as the sole criterion to judge development and services by a President to a country, what about the quality of life?” Dissanayake queried.

President Sirisena had volunteered to give up certain presidential powers

and restored democracy to the SLFP, the party’s National Organiser said.

“If we make him the candidate more can be achieved beyond what has been done during the past three years,” Dissanayake added.

Therefore, President Maithripala Sirisena was the most suitable leader acceptable to all communities, he explained.

“Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa cannot contest the next Presidential Election. Likewise, former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa too cannot contest since he holds dual citizenship. So far even the ‘Pohottuwa’ has failed to declare to the country as to who will be their Presidential candidate. We reiterate the fact that Maithripala Sirisena is the only candidate who can secure victory at the next Presidential Election,” Dissanayake emphasised.