Political leaders in the country welcomed new President Maithripala Sirisena and extended their support to roll out the proposed 100 day programme. Amidst the congratulations the political leaders also highlighted the need for a new political culture and the repeal of the 18th Amendment while trimming the executive powers of the President. Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna [...]


Call for new political culture amidst congratulations

-This is the start of a long term social transformation: JVP Leader -The UPFA will stay strong and ensure its expectations are met through democratic means: SLFP deputy Leader

Political leaders in the country welcomed new President Maithripala Sirisena and extended their support to roll out the proposed 100 day

Pic by Amila Gamage


Amidst the congratulations the political leaders also highlighted the need for a new political culture and the repeal of the 18th Amendment while trimming the executive powers of the President.

Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake appealed to the new President to ensure that corruption is brought to a halt and those guilty of corruption and mishandling of funds dealt with according to the law. Mr. Dissanayake said his party will bring all evidence in its possession to ensure that the guilty are brought to book.

Claiming that the Presidential election was not held in accordance with the election map of the country, he said it was called by the former President against regulations.

“The former President’s intention was to extend his term for a dictatorial rule. The JVP was able to understand this intention and that is why we took part in this campaign to defeat this dictatorial rule.”

Claiming that for the first time all ethical norms earlier adhered to in Sri Lankan politics were disregarded in this election, Mr. Dissanayake said there was no other election which was fuelled by superstitious beliefs, starting from the declaring of the election date, handing over of nominations and casting of votes. However, the country has rejected this practice, he said.Stating that their work has only started, Mr. Dissanayake said that the JVP will work to ensure what is promised in the manifesto is delivered to the people.“We have maintained that the defeat does not end on January 8. This is the start of a long term social transformation. We will work towards that. We have maintained that the executive presidency should be abolished and we will maintain that,” Mr. Dissanayake said.

“The Right of Information Act is another thing the JVP will advocate. We plan to work to ensure that laws ensuring access of information to the public are brought in.”

Pic by Apsara Yoshith Wijesuriya - Premier Ranil Wickremasinghe prepares to board an Air Force helicopter at the Police Grounds in Havelock Town (above) shortly before leaving for Kahawatte to attend the funeral at the home of slain United National Party (UNP) supporter Shantha Dodangoda and (below) at the funeral home.

Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) deputy leader Nimal Siripala De Silva congratulated the new President and hoped he would have the courage and strength to carry out his duties and implement the programme he promised.

Speaking at a press conference, Mr. De silva thanked the over 57 lakhs of people of the South and in rural areas who supported and worked with the United Peoples Freedom Alliance candidate, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and promised that the UPFA will stay strong and ensure that their expectations are met through democratic political means. He also said that UPFA will not oppose the 100 day plan President Maithripala Sirisena has put forward.

Speaking at the same press conference, UPFA coalition party National Freedom Front leader Wimal Weerawansa said that the former President vacated his post in a very respectable manner, immediately after he realised he would not get the support he expected, giving space for the newly elected President to establish his office as he pleases.

However, he said the former President is the leader who had won the majority of the votes of the major ethnic group in this country and got the least preferences from the minor ethnic groups in the country.

“President Maithripala Sirisena has got the minority of the votes of the major ethnic group and the majority of the votes of the minor ethnic groups in the country,” he claimed.We believe the people see this and some people now regret voting for him. When the leader who saved the country left, the entire country cried. We tell them not to cry, your leader was not defeated, he faced a temporary setback. Your leader will work for the betterment of the country and to realise your hopes and dreams. We tell the people who are disappointed take heart, get ready, this country has not sinned.

Highlighting that the President should ensure there are no separatist movements in the country and that no flag but the national flag flies all over the country including the North, he requested the President to ensure that no separatist movements make a comeback.

Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) Leader Rauff Hakeem also extended his congratulations to the new President. Issuing a statement he said the SLMC thanks the Sri Lankan people, especially the Muslim community, for exercising their democratic rights.

“This is a victory for democracy, the rule of law and the restoration of harmony among communities,” the statement said.

“We look forward to assisting in this national effort to build a pluralistic Sri Lanka where the universal principles of freedom, equality and justice prevail for all Sri Lankans.”

The SLMC too is keen to repeal the 18th Amendment to the Constitution and the implementation of the President Elect’s 100 Day Plan, as promised.

Further the SLMC highlighted the importance of shifting power away from the executive towards the legislature, an independent judiciary and other independent bodies as was partially envisioned by the 17th Amendment, which were all promised in President Maithripala Sirisena’s Manifesto.

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) extended its warmest congratulations to President Maithripala Sirisena. In a statement TNA Leader R. Sampanthan highlighted that the new President has to urgently address many grave issues the country faces, including an honourable resolution of the national question.

The TNA also appreciated the support shown by the people of Sri Lanka, in particular the people of the North-East for President Maithripala Sirisena.

Holding a news conference the leaders of the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) dubbed the defeat of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as a watershed in Sri Lankan political history and a victory for the entire nation adding that that the landmark win was only the beginning of ensuring justice, good governance and democracy that lay ahead.

Noting that the country saw a unification of political parties during the election that was never seen before, JHU Leader Ven. Omalpe Sobitha Thera said the priorities from now on should be spreading kindness and friendship.

JHU Chairman Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera said the change in the country’s leadership was brought about by the progressive citizens of the country. Claiming that an educated people of the country got involved in this election which the Thera described as a social debate on corruption, wastage, robbery, dictatorship he said that the victory of the common candidate has overcome any fears.

Dispelling arguments that President Maithripala Sirisena won only through the votes of the minority and lacked Sinhala majority support Patali Champika Ranawaka claimed that only 12% of the votes received by the common candidate were Tamil and Muslim votes whereas the remaining 88% were Sinhalese votes.

“What decided the win for Maithripala Sirisena were nine lakhs of votes. Mahinda Rajapaksa would not have got even this much if not for his ruthless campaigns and disgusting rumours. This is a win for Sri Lanka and we are proud to be the party that dealt the first blow to the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime,” he said.

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