Be aware of presidential hopefuls - Lal Wijenayake | Sunday Observer

Be aware of presidential hopefuls - Lal Wijenayake

Lal Wijenayake
Lal Wijenayake

Lal Wijenayake, former Chairman of the Public Representations Committee for a new Constitution and a close associate of the late Rev. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera, leader of the January 8 movement said serious questions arise when taking into consideration the actions of some candidates who have come forward to contest the upcoming Presidential Election.

According to him, the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) presidential hopeful Gotabaya Rajapaksa claiming he would act as he did during his stint as the country’s Secretary of Defence is extremely dangerous. “When recalling his tenure as Defence Secretary one cannot forget the atrocities committed - the white van culture, the violence unleashed on Rathupaswala and Free Trade Zone protestors, the killing of 28 prisoners in the Welikada prison, the killing of journalists and attacks on media organisations,” he said.

He also pointed out how 500 families from Wanathamulla were given seven days notice through the military and were evicted in order to ‘develop Colombo’. “Some artistes, academics and media personnel left the country in fear due to death threats.” Rajapaksa is yet to give an assurance that similar acts will not be repeated if appointed, he said.

Commenting on Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa’s recent statement about his brother - “Gotabaya Rajapaksa does not need laws to serve. He knows how to work,” Wijenayake said this is a dangerous comment. “It insinuates that he will act according to his wishes irrespective of the laws in the country.”

On UNP presidential hopeful Sajith Premadasa saying that he would herald in prosperity if appointed President, Wijenayake said “Premadasa, the Deputy Leader of the party has served as a Senior Minister for four and a half years but has failed to note what he has done to bring prosperity to the people during the time.” He also pointed out that if the government failed to do the same, Premadasa has not taken steps to question that during his tenure as a Minister. “We have not heard of any significant steps he has taken to uplift the lives of the people.”

Wijenayake said that these were statements to merely gain public sympathy.

According to Wijenayake the question before the public is, is the country again ready to handover power to these candidates who are vying for the top post.

“We must instead find a candidate who will strive to create a just society which respects human rights and build a modern country based on technological advancement. This should not be merely a dream for the people,”he said.