True UNPers with SJB - Mayantha Dissanayake | Sunday Observer

True UNPers with SJB - Mayantha Dissanayake

2 August, 2020

The real UNP and its support-base are with the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) and the UNP, once the largest political party in the country has perished at the hands of its current leader, said SJB National List nominee Mayantha Dissanayake in an interview with the Sunday Observer.

Excerpts

Q: Why did you opt to become a national list candidate of the SJB at the General Election?

A: I have been entrusted with the task of initiating the youth movement of the Samagi Jana Balawegaya. This is a national-level responsibility. It encourages me to travel to every nook and corner of the country. We are building up a network of one million youth and have set up Balamandalas in a number of districts and electorates.

As the Chairman of the Samagi Tharuna Balawegaya, these activities come under my supervision.

Our leader Sajith Premadasa and General Secretary Ranjith Madduma Bandara have nominated me as a national list candidate of the SJB, allowing me to take up this responsibility on a full-time basis.

Q: Will your party win a sufficient number of MPs at the election to form the next government?

A: We will form the next Government under the leadership of Sajith Premadasa. The Government has failed in addressing socio-economic issues consequent to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Hundreds of thousands of people have lost their livelihood. Thousands are stranded overseas and the Government has no plan to facilitate their return.

The cost of living has skyrocketed and the economy is resting on a volcano. Those who voted for President Gotabaya Rajapaksa have realised the gravity of their mistake. They will correct it on August 5.

Q: Will your MPs reunite with the UNP after the election?

A: We have no reason to reunite with the UNP. They have failed to launch a successful election campaign. They don’t seem to be a serious contender.

A handful of MPs who get elected from the UNP will have to join the Samagi Jana Balawegaya as they will have no future with their leader. They know that our party will return to its glory days under the leadership of Sajith Premadasa.

Q: Your party will have to work with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa if you manage to form a government after the election. Will the SJB be able to have a healthy working relationship with him?

A: Absolutely. Although President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has shown his willingness to do things differently, he can’t get things done with the calibre of people representing the SLPP. The majority of them have notorious track-records and face multiple corruption and criminal allegations.

How can the President effect any change with the SLPP? Sajith Premadasa, on the other hand, is a leader with a clean track-record. No one can point fingers at him.

His sole focus is on the well-being of the people. He is ready to work with anyone to achieve this goal. That’s the difference between a power-hungry politician and a people-centric leader.

Q: The UNP has expelled its members who have joined hands with the SJB. What are your views?

A: This is the last straw of the UNP leadership. He has never been elected the leader of the UNP and is unpopular among the party’s support base. He has no moral or ethical right to expel other members.

The UNP, once the largest political party in the country, has perished at the hands of the UNP’s current leader. He has destroyed the proud heritage of our party which flourished under great leaders, such as D.S. Senanayake, Dudley Senanayake, J.R. Jayewardene, Ranasinghe Premadasa, D.B. Wijetunga, Gamini Dissanayake and Lalith Athulathmudali.

The real UNP and its support-base are with us. What is left with Wickremesinghe are the building of the party headquarters, the name-board in front of him and a handful of incapable persons.

 

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