Sandasen Marasinghe and Kamal Jayamanna
Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday urged the government to go for a General Election in order to establish a strong government.
He also said that that the SLPP has no intention of grabbing power in Parliament.
Rajapaksa added that the last Local Government election results however has proved that the government has no mandate as its policies have been rejected by the people.
“Therefore, I insist the government hold a general election for the people to elect their government,” Rajapaksa said.
He made these observations during a press conference held at the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) party head office at Jayanthipura, Nelum Mawatha, Battaramulla yesterday.
He also said that the SLPP’s victory was historic since so far not a single political party in Opposition, had defeated a governing party at a Local Government election.
He also said that although the his group obtained 96 seats in Parliament at the last General Election, it was not given the Opposition Leader’s post nor that of the Chief Opposition Whip in the House.
Rajapaksa added that this is a time for the House to consider those facts as well.
He also said that the SLPP has won more than 232 Local Government institutions and the number of members are very high due the new government’s decision to increase the number from 4000 members to 8000 members. Responding to a query made by a journalist as to what the new party would do to allay the corruption allegations being levelled against it, former President Rajapaksa said that their duties would be monitored more than ever before.
He also said that the Good Governance government reversed the momentum of development that the previous government had maintained, and urged for the recommencement of such devlopment activities.
When queried by a media personnel if the 19th Amedment to the Constitution would permit the dissolution of Parliament, Rajapaksa said that his group would lend it’s support if the government moved to amend the section.
He also pointed out that the government’s debt to GDP ratio was 103 percent when he took over the government and he brought it down to 75 percent.
He added that during that period there was tangible economic development in the country. He added that after the Good Governance Government was elected the loans had been taken but no development had taken place.
“The price of a barrel of oil in the world market was USD 138 when Good Governance was elected,” Rajapaksa said. “But it dropped to USD 27 during this regime. What happened to that profit?”
MP Wimal Weerawansa, MP Udaya Gammanpila, Prof G L Pieris, MP Bandula Gunawardena, MP Dinesh Gunawardena, MP Keheliya Rambukwella and MP Ranjith de Soyza were also present.