LSSP- Oldest political party never charged with malpractices – Prof. Vitarana

Kotte Municipal Council

The country’s oldest political party, the Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP), fielding its own candidates for next Saturday’s elections to the Kotte Municipal Council, has drawn up an ambitious plan to develop the country’s administrative capital.

The LSSP, a constituent party of the ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA), has decided to go it alone in this electorate, as their Kotte organizer, Nuresh Rajapaksa was not accommodated on the Alliance list, according to senior party leader Prof. Tissa Vitarana.

“There are a large number of voters who are disillusioned with the earlier UPFA administration. There are also UNP voters who feel that the UNP will not win power, but would like to be associated with the new administration.

But they don’t want to vote for the UPFA. They have an alternate choice in the LSSP, which will enable them to get the benefits of administrative power,” Minister Vitarana explained.
He said that all indications are that the UPFA will be voted into power in next Saturday‘s election, owing to the tide of electoral victories for the UPFA, and the disorder within the UNP and JVP.

The Professor, who is now the Minister (Senior) of Science & Technology, said that the LSSP has put forward a list of 26 politically experienced candidates for Kotte, including an advocate, a trade union leader, two former members of the Kotte UC, a graduate Buddhist priest and a woman candidate.

“We are the oldest political party with a 77-year history, and there never have been charges of any type of malpractice directed at any of our elected representatives, and therefore, anyone voting for our party‘s ‘Key’ symbol can do so with assurance that they will get an honest, efficient person to represent them,” he said.

Minister Vitarana said that the LSSP is part of the government, and he is a minister within that government, and any candidates elected from his party will work with the government group within the Kotte MC, and will be there to provide honest and efficient administration.

The LSSP had contested solo in the second phase of the local government elections in Beruwela and Dehiattakandiya, where they won two seats each, while in Baddegama they won one seat.

Minister Vitarana and LSSP committee member Prof. Carlo Fonseka, who are both residents of Kotte, have combined with the team to produce a development plan for Kotte, which includes setting up committees in each Grama Seveka Division, and where possible, in every street where Party representatives will meet residents on a regular basis, to discuss their problems. The Mayor too will be asked to participate at these meetings.

The plans also include using garbage as a resource by applying science and technology to use it for fertiliser and produce bio energy. “We hope to organize a meaningful collection, which will help generate an income for citizens,” he said.

He added that, in Kotte, where the pit latrine system is in place, it is possible to make use of human waste to generate bio gas, which can be used instead of LP gas, and this idea too would be promoted.
Also on the cards is a programme to eliminate dengue and mosquitoe borne disease such as filaria, with Minister Vitarana, who was a member of the dengue task force of the World Health Organization (WHO), bringing his expertise to the programme.

The LSSP will also use the historic city to profit from the tourist drive of the government. “It will be done tastefully, so we can preserve the traditional architecture and historical artefacts within the city,” he added.

The National Apprentice & Industrial Training Centre (NAITA), which has one of its resource centers in Kotte, will also be used for providing various types of technical training, including free training of computer use.

The LSSP leader also said that his party supports a return to the Ward system, so that local government areas would be smaller, and members elected to each Ward would be under constant supervision.

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