No possibility of a SLPP-UNP alliance - Ramesh | Sunday Observer

No possibility of a SLPP-UNP alliance - Ramesh

Minister of Plantation Industries and Export Agriculture, Dr Ramesh Pathirana
Minister of Plantation Industries and Export Agriculture, Dr Ramesh Pathirana

 President-Prime Minister Alliance: What Parliamentarians say

In the wake of the possible dissolving of Parliament early next month, Opposition (United National Party) Parliamentarians are proposing a new coalition government under a collaborative leadership of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and current-Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa.

These politicians claim that a Gotabaya-Sajith partnership would be the best alternative to the public.

The Face to Face segment of the week, is dedicated to inquiring about this new political opinion from members of both the SLPP and the UNP.


Q. Certain politicians in the Sajith Premadasa camp have suggested a new government under the collaboration of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa. Is this really a possibility?

A. There is no possibility at all. That is a slogan from the UNP. On the other hand, the UNP is saying that when the President is Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the Prime Minister should be Sajith Premadasa, it is hilarious.

It is a meaningless effort by the UNP but clearly they do not have the public mandate and we are confident of getting more votes than at the Presidential Election in the upcoming General Election.

So, we will form the Government and there will be no question about Sajith Premadasa becoming the Prime Minister or any collaborative government.

Q. Even though the national government concept failed in the past can you assure that it will be the same in the future?

A. The Sri Lanka Freedom Party tried it and failed. Actually, they failed miserably. The people do not want to encounter such a situation in the near future.

That is why we received an overwhelming majority at the Presidential election and even before that at the Local Government polls we secured a decent majority as a single party.

However, Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa has very clearly stated, that he is ready to support whatever good things our government will do.

They can remain in the opposition and extend ahelping hand to good causes. That is the best thing about it and we are not going to form a government with United National Party.

And we will have a significant majority in the Parliament. and a comfortable majority to govern the country.

Q. But politicians who critically criticised Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the Presidential election like MP Mangala Samaraweera and V. Radhakrishnan have started commending the work of the new government. Is that a sign of a near political marriage between opposition parliamentarians and the Government?

A. I appreciate the fact that they commend the good work of the government. That is what they should do.

They should remain in the Opposition and commend the good work of the Government and point out the deficiencies of the Government while being in the Opposition. But to answer your question directly, those two people you mentioned have a reputation which is a bad one politically.

They have been changing parties over and over again. You never know what they would do in the next hour. But We are very confident that we are not going to harbour anyone with those elements in our government because they have a very corrupted political path.

Q. The Sri Lanka Freedom Party is now eyeing to contest the General Election without a coalition with SLPP. If that happens, isn’t that a challenge for the SLPP to secure its voter base?

A. That is not a challenge at all. It is a good decision. Because in certain districts if the Sri Lanka Freedom Party contests separately they should be able to get a couple of more seats than contesting under one front.

Then it will be a competition among the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, United National Party and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna. The SLFP will have the edge in certain districts.

Subsequently, after the General Election, they can join us and form the coalition government.

The Sri Lanka Freedom Party has a significant number of people who are willing to contest the General Election.

So, they can place their own candidates where the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna also has a significant number of candidates to be placed. Thus, they can secure their voter base and so will we. Therefore, the fact that we are contesting separately is a very welcome move.

Q. SLPP politicians point to the need of a two third majority for the Government in Parliament. Why is the two third necessary? Is it just to revive 18th amendment or is the Government genuinely ready to bring a new Constitution for the country?

A. Generally speaking, Sri Lankans are quite productive at creating constitutional amendments. We need a fresh Constitution.

I personally like a new Constitution. But even if it is to resort to constitutional amendments or whatever the case, we need a two third majority in the Parliament. We are looking at that.