The United National Party (UNP) said today that it will never join the present government of Gotabaya Rajapaksa but will extend its fullest support to the government in suppressing the coronavirus pandemic.
Following a special statement made by UNP Leader and former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at the Working Committee meeting held at Sirikotha party headquarters on Friday, May 29, the party said the role of the government at the moment is to give priority to coronavirus pandemic control and not to give priority to elections.
“People’s main concern is security of life. No one should be allowed to limit their democracy,” the statement said.
In his statement, the former Prime Minister pointed out that in 2015, the United National Front led by the UNP got the premiership, the cabinet and the responsibility to govern. However, after the defeat of Sajith Premadasa at the 2019 presidential election, the UNP parliamentary group decided to leave the cabinet and join the opposition.
“Then we hoped to get a mandate from the people at the next general election. In no way we will join the government or attach to the government. We will also not form a national government,” UNP leader stressed.
“The election has been postponed because of coronavirus. The world is facing a new challenge. The primary responsibility of all of us is to protect the people. Protect the health of the people. We have to work on that. As the opposition, we will contribute to the welfare of the country.”
Mr. Wickremesinghe noted that all other countries have committed to control the COVID-19 pandemic and by the governments and all political parties are supporting the governments which have taken the primary responsibility to eliminate the pandemic.
“Many countries do not seek to enter political battles these days. We also while appreciating the good work of the government, point out the shortcomings, criticize when need to and support when it is needed. But we will not allow anyone to limit the democratic freedom in this environment.”
“The main problem of the people of this country at this time is not politics or elections. The most basic issue is life safety, health and economic stability.”
“All parties represented the Parliament in 2015 should meet and take a final decision regarding the election. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. Then assign the responsibilities of the election to the Election Commission. Government should take the responsibility of preventing COVID-19 pandemic,” Mr. Wickremesinghe said.
“However today, it is unfortunate that some people are trying to work according to day-to-day political agendas. It’s sad that so many government ministers are in that position. They are on a narrow political journey, even criticizing the positive proposals we put forward for the country.”
“We are the most responsible political party in this country. We must act accordingly. The UNP is the party that built the country. We were the ones who built the country. DS Senanayake created this party to protect the country. It was the responsibility of the UNP whether in the government or the opposition to commit to the security of the country. That is the path taken by Dudley Senanayake, Srimath John Kotelawala, JR Jayawardene, DB Wijetunge and R. Premadasa have gone the route. It should be mine and yours too,” the former Prime Minister said.
“Whatever obstacles and challenges may arise, the reality is that only the UNP can build the country. That message should be taken to the public. They will be intelligent and understand the reality.”
Courtesy: Colombo Page