Sajith’s Kurunegala rally draws mammoth crowd | Sunday Observer

Sajith’s Kurunegala rally draws mammoth crowd

Minister Sajith Premadasa addressing the rally
Minister Sajith Premadasa addressing the rally

Taking another step forward to obtain nominations from the UNP to compete against Gotabaya Rajapaksa of the SLPP and Anura Kumara Dissanayake of the JVP, Minister of Housing, Construction and Cultural Affairs Sajith Premadasa attended a massive rally organised in Kurunegala last Thursday (5), the third within four weeks.

Similar to the previous rallies in Badulla and Matara, thousands had gathered at the Sathyavadi grounds in Kurunegala, to see their Presidential hopeful.

Minister Sajith Premadasa arrived at the rally around 4 pm .The former Speaker and senior UNP member Joseph Michael Perera, Ministers Chandrani Bandara, Ajith P. Perera, Dr. Harsha De Silva, Deputy and State Ministers, Eran Wickramaratne, DilipWedaarachchi, Nalin Bandara, Ashok Abeysinghe, J.C. Alawathuwala and MPs Thushara Indunil, Hector Appuhami, Bandula Lal Bandarigoda and UPFA Kurunegala district Parliamentarian Indika Bandaranayake (who joined the UNP during the coup,) were waiting on stage for the arrival of Minister Premadasa.

Supporters

However, it took more than half an hour for Minister Premadasa to arrive near the stage from the entrance, as his supporters were gathered on both sides of the way to the stage. Thousands of supporters wanted to greet the deputy leader of the party and wish him good luck for the journey he had embarked on to become the next Presidential candidate of the UNP.

“Today, the UNP wants nothing but a victory with Sajith. We do not have any other goal” Deputy Minister Nalin Bandara said, addressing the gathering. “After President Ranasinghe Premadasa, we could not elect a UNP President. However, now we have another person who can lead us to victory” he added. The rally had been organised by UNP Kurunegala district parliamentarians, Ashok Abeysinghe, J.C. Alawathuwala, Nalin Bandara, Thushara Indunil, and Indika Bandaranayake. Addressing the public, State Minister Ashok Abeysinghe said that Minister Sajith Premadasa can secure a victory with a majority of more than 1 million votes at the upcoming Presidential election. “Kurunegala district alone will give Sajith Premadasa more than 100,000 majority votes in that cause” he assured.

Then Minister Premadasa stood to speak amidst cheering. The cheers of the crowd swelled to a higher decibel as the compere introduced Minister Premadasa as the next leader of the country.

“I am proud to hold this rally in this historic city of Kurunegala, as this is a victorious step in a period of transition. President R. Premadasa also started his ‘Gam Udawa’ program from the Kurunegala district.

The grateful people of Kurunegala will never forget that. Once I come into power, I will never forget my roots. I will not live in palaces. My palace will be among the people serving them. We will establish a government for the common people. I do not engage in nepotism. Sajith Premadasa’s only family power is citizen power. Therefore, I invite all 22 million people in Sri Lanka to join our campaign.” he said.

Hotline

During the rally, a hotline (1326) dedicated to Sajith Premadasa’s Presidential campaign was also introduced to the public. By giving a missed call to number 1326 anyone can join the campaign.

Minister Premadasa also said that he will appoint a Presidential Task Force to conduct all development activities at the grassroots level. He continued, “I hope the UNP will let the son of President R. Premadasa, who sacrificed his life for the country, to become the next President of the country with the blessings of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the Speaker Karu Jayasuriya”.

Following the rally, State Minister J.C. Alawathuwala told the Sunday Observer that the Kurunegala rally was more of a success than they had expected.

“Kurunegala is one of the main cities in Sri Lanka. There is a common belief that the country goes in the direction in which Kurunegala goes. I have worked as an electoral organiser since 1991. I have not seen a massive rally like this in all those years” the State Minister said. He added, “People have a huge need to give the Presidential candidacy to Minister Sajith Premadasa.

Also, we did not try hard to attract people to the rally. People stayed at the rally for 6-7 long hours without any pressure. This is the will of people.

If we turn our back on the people, the people will move away from us. Therefore, we should think wisely at this moment and make the maximum use of this opportunity to appoint a UNP President after 25 years. We should know the heart of the people”.

- R.J.A. 

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