SJB confident of winning General Election – Ranjith Madduma Bandara | Sunday Observer
Parliamentary Election 2020:

SJB confident of winning General Election – Ranjith Madduma Bandara

Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) General Secretary and former Parliamentarian Ranjith Madduma Bandara said that when the UNP is going to lose the upcoming General Election, they attempt to make various false allegations against the SJB. In an interview with the SundayObserver, the SJB General Secretary said that the people are well aware that the SJB was formed with the approval of the UNP Working Committee. He said the group in the UNP is fully responsible for creating a rift in the party.

At present, dictatorial ruling is implemented within the UNP to realise their narrow political objectives.

Q. Are you confident that the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) would be able to secure a majority in Parliament at the upcoming General Election?

A. At present the people have rallied round the SJB as we are a newly formed party, free from fraud and corruption headed by a clean leader. In addition, the people trust the incumbent Government. Therefore, we would definitely win the upcoming General Election.

Q. The UNP General Secretary and the party hierarchy say that its Working Committee didn’t give approval to form a new political party named the SJB. Would you comment on this?

A. When the UNP is going to lose the election, they attempt to make various false allegations against us. The people are well aware that the SJB was formed with the approval of the UNP Working Committee. The UNP cannot change their Working Committee meetings as they like. However, that is what they are doing right now.

Q. Those who are in the UNP allege that you also got involved in creating rifts in the party. Your comments?

A. Actually, this group in the UNP is fully responsible for creating a rift in the party. Earlier, 65 former MPs had left the UNP and later another 80 former MPs had quit the party. Altogether, 145 former MPs left the party due to dictatorial ruling and a lack of democracy in the UNP. At present, dictatorial ruling is implemented within the UNP to realise their narrow political objectives.

Q. How would SJB frontliner Mangala Samaraweera’s decision to withdraw his candidacy affect the party?

A. It won’t have any effect on the SJB. He has not joined any political party. What he said was that he wants to express his views independently. That is why he decided to withdraw his candidacy. He wanted to quit parliamentary politics and engage in ‘social politics’. No, it is more appropriate he can now openly express any of his views as he wishes. It would also prevent the damage caused to the party if he attempted to express his views in such a manner.

Q. What led former MP Mangala Samaraweera and some other SJB candidates to withdraw their candidacy?

A. All Local Government and Pradeshiya Sabha members opposed giving nomination to an SJB candidate who withdrew his candidacy. However, we provided him the opportunity to contest as he had acted as an electoral organiser. He knew that if he contested the election, he would definitely lose the election so he withdrew his candidacy. Sometimes, when the nomination lists are prepared, persons who are not qualified enough to contest are also included into those lists. That is what really happened.

Q. Political parties and various sections of the people have raised serious concern on the controversial statement by former UNP Parliamentarian Harin Fernando regarding Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith. What are your views on this ?

A. This is not our party stance. That was a personal opinion expressed by Harin Fernando. Our Leader Sajith Premadasa also expressed his regret over that statement. Even Harin Fernando had apologised over his statement. As human beings, sometimes we may make mistakes. After a public apology is made, it is better to ignore it.

Q. The Colombo District Court on June 22 declined to issue a restraining order on the decision taken by the UNP Working Committee to suspend the membership of 99 party members. However, the court fixed further hearing of the case to July 27. Your comments?

A. The court only dismissed the restraining order but decided to further hear the case on July 27. The court ordered to issue notices on UNP leader, deputy leader and General Secretary who have been named as the respondents in the complaint.

Q. After a lapse of 30 years, SJB Leader Sajith Premadasa contests from the Colombo district. How would this affect your vote base?

A. Colombo Central is the ideal electorate for him. Therefore, as a leader he is contesting Colombo district this time.

Q. Government lawmakers say the SJB went to courts against the decision to dissolve Parliament and postpone sought the postponement of the election due to its inability and fear to face the election. How would you respond to this claim?

A. We were seriously concerned about people’s lives rather than capturing power. However, the Government is very concerned about power rather than the lives of the people. That is why the number of Covid-19 affected people went up to nearly 2000. Under these circumstances we wanted to somehow postpone the election for a certain period. The former Government which had five years to complete its term was dissolved by four and half years to grab power. We tried our level best to ensure the security of the people.

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