First public Presidential debate | Sunday Observer

First public Presidential debate

The first ‘Public Platform’ organised by the March 12 Movement and the Association of Friendship and Love (AFRIEL) youth network was held yesterday evening at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium. Ten out of the 33 Presidential candidates shared their views and policies at the event.
The first ‘Public Platform’ organised by the March 12 Movement and the Association of Friendship and Love (AFRIEL) youth network was held yesterday evening at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium. Ten out of the 33 Presidential candidates shared their views and policies at the event.

For the first time ever in Sri Lankan politics a public debate was organized to bring all presidential candidates to one table to face questions posed to them on their policies and plans they had for the country.

Presidential Election 2019- The Public Platform, organized by AFRIEL Youth Network and March 12 Movement, saw ten presidential hopefuls presenting key proposals of their manifestos. First of its kind where all the Presidential candidates were brought into a common platform.

Sri Lanka Podujana Party (SLPP) candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa who has, since announcing his candidacy has evaded facing questions, save for very limited circumstances opted out from participating in this public debate.

Explaining his reasons to turn down the invitation, SLPP Spokesman Dullas Alahapperuma said there was no point in taking part in a debate when nominations and candidates are not finalized.

The only female candidate Dr. Ajantha Perera stressing the importance of a policy based on environment protection.

Candidates Sajith Premadasa and Anura Kumara Dissanayake answered questions presented to them from the public during the second phase where Dissanayake answering one question announced the importance of school children learning the essence of all religions and Premadasa said he intends to make preschool education free if he is elected.

“This can change the future of Sri Lanka”, said presidential candidate Rohan Pallewatta as he held up a pencil at the Public Platform held at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium last evening. Pallewatta encouraged voters to use the pencil to cast their vote for the right candidate.

Mahesh Senanayake, National People’s Party candidate said that he will foster inter religious and ethnic harmony.

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