Dharma Sri Abeyratne and Lahiru Fernando
The Galle Face green was a sea of heads with people from all corners of the country converging to Colombo yesterday to affirm their support to the Presidential candidate of United National Party (UNP) led New Democratic Front (NDF), Sajith Premadasa.
The inaugural rally of Premadasa’s presidential election campaign was held at Galle Face Green with the participation of UNP leader and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and other NDF leaders and politicians.
The New Democratic Front Presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa told a huge maiden rally in Colombo, yesterday, that the people of this country should carefully decide whether it was the future of a family or the future of the country that was important at the forthcoming Presidential Election.
The UNP Deputy Leader was addressing the mass of humanity that literally overflowed Galle Face Green at his first election rally organised by the UNP-led NDF alliance yesterday. There was a party-like atmosphere as the crowds flowed into and across the entire Green and its environs amid crackers and ‘papare’ bands. Before the UNP Deputy Leader came on stage, several other speakers addressed the enormous crowd, including Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, the Ven. Dambara Amila Thera, JHU leader Patali Champika Ranawaka, and Minister Rajitha Senaratna.
Premadasa said that the aspirations of the people was to create a developed country rather than developing a single family. The nation never requests a leader to work for family brandyism.
He said that only the judiciary will decide whether politicians should wear prison jumpers. He stressed that the government should never intervene in the justice system and, therefore, the decision on prosecution and conviction should be taken by the courts.
The NDF candidate said that he had dedicated his life to create a new Sri Lanka. “The most clean government ever built in the country will be formed with the winning of the Presidential Election.
There is no room for corruption, financial misconduct, fraud or misuse of state resources. Our main aim is to convert the country to a developed and prosperous country in the world,” he declared.
He added that radical changes will be implemented to achieve development goals. Under these changes, a production based economy, backed by novel technology will be introduced. Besides, human resources in every sector including farming, fishing, self-employment, industry, will usher in the dawn of a better future and better atmosphere in which their aspirations will come true.
Premadasa said that a Women’s Declaration and policy will be introduced so as to empower the nation’s women. Unlike the last regime, women will be duly respected and given their due place.
He said that former Army Commander Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka will be given the highest responsibility in relation to national security since there should be no room for any form of terrorism. In line with strengthening national security, a proper and efficient mechanism will be implemented to wipe out the drug menace from the motherland under the leadership of Field Marshal Fonseka.
He said that even though he was against the death sentence, he would never hesitate to impose the highest punishment on mega scale drug dealers.
Noting that living costs were high, and the people affected with tax burdens, Premadasa said that practical moves will be taken to ease the economic burdens and to make a better and convenient living environment. A ‘Relief and a development package’ will be introduced with a view to push people to the next level of economic prosperity. Only the qualified and most suitable persons in their respective fields will be given responsibilities, he said while speaking on good governance policies of the government to be formed under him.
“A youth declaration will be implemented so as to create a fruitful future for youth. With the youth declaration, youths will receive employment opportunities base on their qualifications, With a view to end unemployment, it has been planned to set up industrial zones at electorate level,” he added.