Opposition faces a losing battle - SLPP Kolonnawa Chief Organiser Ajith Rohana Subasinghe | Sunday Observer
No constructive criticism of Government

Opposition faces a losing battle - SLPP Kolonnawa Chief Organiser Ajith Rohana Subasinghe

Ajith Rohana Subasinghe has entered active politics on a special invitation by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and SLPP National Organiser, Basil Rajapaksa. Since 2015 he has played an exceptional role in the Kolonnawa electorate to rebuild the vote base. As an accomplished entrepreneur, he has carried out many social welfare projects, utilising his private funds. In an interview with the Sunday Observer, he outlined his plans for the development of the Colombo district.

Excerpts:

Q. Sri Lanka is currently facing a big challenge due to Covid-19. Amid this, you are contesting for a slot in Colombo which itself is a challenge. What are your plans to meet the political opposition?

A. The whole country is aware that the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna ( SLPP ) is in the forefront at this election. The main opposition is split into two factions as UNP and SJB. The majority of the people have rejected the so-called economic policies of these factions. The Yahapalana Government did nothing for the common people. They were more concerned in bringing in unimportant legislation, some based on NGO influence. They allowed extremist elements who destroy ethnic harmony to grow due to their negligence. Ardent followers of the UNP and the SJB are disappointed. Therefore, we have no challenge from them at this election.

Q. What is your vision for the future of the country?

A: I will follow President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s programs on the development of Colombo. The people in the Colombo district face numerous socio-economic issues irrespective of social standing or wealth. We have several solutions to these issues. Even before the beginning of my political career, as an entrepreneur and a social activist, I have discussed these issues with the political leadership and found appropriate solutions.

I decided to enter active politics inspired by the capable leadership of Basil Rajapaksa, the commitment of former President and incumbent Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, and the far-reaching vision of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

I will introduce a pragmatic solution to control the menacing flood problem in the district; the transport route along the Kelani River; develop the tourism industry and the tillage of abandoned paddy fields in the district. Also, I will launch a program to rehabilitate drug-addicted youth. I have chosen politics to find solutions to these burning social issues.

We have three great leaders to develop the country. We have a strong and efficient administrator in President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Basil Rajapaksa is a visionary with a goal who brought in a great leader to the country and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa successfully governed the country for two terms and gifted many good things to the nation including victory over the cruel terrorism. The trio will undoubtedly take the country to prosperity.

Q. There were plans to develop Colombo under the Megapolis Ministry during the previous government. Do you think anything constructive took place under this Ministry?

A: Most of those plans were introduced by President Rajapaksa when he was Defence Secretary and the Urban Development Authority (UDA) was under him. The Megapolis Ministry has not done anything visible during their regime. They have not even continued the projects started by the UDA. Particularly, the housing projects started for low-income families were halted, nor did they continue the flood prevention program in the Kolonnawa electorate.

The previous government came into power when President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was initiating a systematic action to eliminate the garbage disposal issue in Colombo. During the whole of their regime no solution was offered to the city on this menace.

Q. What would you propose to the government for the benefit of those who vote for you at the upcoming polls?

A: I will serve everybody equally whether they vote for me or not. I have noticed numerous problems in the education sector in the district. We have already discussed this issue with the President and proposed to set up three national schools in my electorate.

I will commence this soon after the election. I have also discussed the unemployment issue and hopefully I can secure at least 30% of the available jobs for the people in our district.

It is reported that 8% of the youth in Colombo are subjected to drug addiction. I plan to start rehabilitation programs with my personal resources along with government assistance. I wish to have a consensual political environment in my electorate, without any religious, ethnic, or political conflicts.

Q. The Opposition keeps on saying that there is an imminent danger of a second wave of the Coronavirus and that parliamentary elections should be postponed. What is your view on this?

A: From the beginning the Opposition knew they are facing a losing battle. They have no constructive criticism of the government. They can only find anti-government slogans from unsubstantiated incidents such as the second wave.

The former government failed in important economic issues such as the downfall in growth and foreign borrowings.

They placed the entire country in jeopardy, grossly neglecting national security and failing to prevent the Easter Sunday attacks while possessing comprehensive intelligence data.

They were unable to prevent racial comments by politicians in the North that ruin ethnic harmony. Therefore, they try to point out insignificant matters. The SJB and UNP are in a futile attempt to postpone the election.

Q. In your electorate Kolonnawa, you are well known as a proactive campaigner for social welfare and a generous donor for humanitarian cause. Tell us something about your social welfare activities.

A: From my childhood, I have been involved in social welfare, mainly due to my upbringing and lessons from my parents. When I became successful in business long years ago, I made a decision to dish out funds as much as possible to fulfil my social responsibility. Since then, I have contributed my best to society.

If I may humbly elaborate some of them, for the past many years I have engaged with the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (IDH) to assist whenever a need arose. Annually I have donated goods to the hospital and have assigned a luxury bus and a van to be used until the last Covid-19 patient leaves the hospital. Also, I donate approximately a hundred thousand books to students in Kolonnawa, annually. During the Covid-19 pandemic, I distributed thousands of packages of dry rations and food to the needy. I also engaged in social welfare projects such as flood relief, conducting eye clinics and distribution of optical frames and assisting in the day-to-day needs of poor families. All these welfare projects were done with my personal funds.

Q. As a self-made, accomplished entrepreneur, tell us something about the nature of your business.

A: Aftera training stint in Japan, I founded my company Comtec Systems (Pvt) Ltd. in 1996 with humble origins. We are engaged in modern telecommunication related operations, manufacturing and supplying related material. My current team consists of over five hundred staff members in branch offices throughout the country. Also, recently I entered the leisure industry and own and operate a few resorts.

Q. Finally, what is your message to the voters in the Colombo district?

A: Based on my foreign exposure and 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur, I have devised several plans for the benefit and the development of the people in my electorate, Kolonnawa, and for the whole district. The hierarchy of the SLPP selected me as chief organiser because of the trust they have on me as a proactive, knowledgeable, and genuine activist. Therefore, I request the people in the district and the electorate to cast their preferential votes for me and allow me to be of more service to the society at large.

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