Dec 18, 2018

Broad democratic front to safeguard country - Ranil

Sri Lanka's reinstated Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says that a democratic front will be created to safeguard the country and win the future elections through the front.

Addressing the huge public rally 'Fight for Justice' organized by the United National Party (UNP) at the Galle Face Green in Colombo today, the leader of the UNP said plans are afoot to form the democratic front and contest future elections through the front to form a government with a massive power.

He said the main objective of the front is to strengthen the country's constitution and build peace and reconciliation.

Speaking further Wickremesinghe said he expected the political crisis triggered by President Maithripala Sirisena by ousting him from the Prime Minister post would only last few days but the crisis dragged on for 51 days.

"We thought that our campaign to protect democracy would end in a week. I'd like to say that 'Thachchiya' (frying pan) is what's on fire. We faced the fire. We protected the democracy from fire. No fire now," he said.

"We defended democracy since we were able to create a protective ring in constitution to safeguard people's sovereignty. Today, we have been able to completely defeat the forces against democracy."

Addressing the people, the Premier said people were his strength during the 51-day ordeal and thanked all those who committed to safeguard democracy.

He further said that the Yahapalana government not only created a barrier in the Constitution to protect people's sovereign rights but also formed independent commissions. "That's why we have been able to meet this crisis today," he said.

Likening the takeover of premiership of the country by Mahinda Rajapaksa to the ascension of Hitler to power, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said Hitler also came to power without a majority.

He said the illegal minority government of Mahinda Rajapaksa attempted to disrupt the parliament but the ousted government took appropriate legal actions in the Supreme Court when Rajapaksa supporters resorted to disruption by attacking the Speaker and the members with chili powder.

"The Constitution clearly states in Sinhalese that Parliament can be dissolved only after four and a half years. We adopted this system from the UK's fixed term parliamentary act of 2010. If an election is what they wanted, why take the government. Only one proposal has to be brought to dissolve parliament. We will not oppose if the people wanted an election. There was a big conspiracy here," Wickremesinghe said.

The Premier said the government will seek consensus of all political parties on when to hold elections.

"We have two more elections to come -presidential and general elections. We ask people to give us a two-third majority to abolish executive presidency. We cannot do it alone. I ask you to allow us to do so freely to safeguard your fundamental rights," the UNP leader said.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said the United National Front (UNF) with other political parties will form a broad alliance called National Democratic Front and the lawyers are already making arrangements.

Wickremesinghe said he will present the proposal to the Working Committee meet at its meeting on Friday,

"There's no doubt. We will form the strongest alliance to fight for democracy," he said adding that the alliance will work to protect the country.

(colombopage.com)

(Except for the headline, this story, originally published by colombopage.com has not been edited by SLM staff)

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