Addressing the first election rally in his run up to the presidency in Sri Lanka, common candidate of the opposition Maithripala Sirisena questioned as to what the government has done for the people of Sri Lanka, using its overwhelming majority in Parliament.
He also added that the Memorandum of Understanding that he is to sign with the political parties of the opposition – including the United National Party – will be revealed tomorrow.
While promising to increase the farmers’ pension and uplift the farming sector, the common candidate also pledged to write off motorcycle loans that were given to public servants, when he comes to power in January.
The former General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, addressing his rally in Polonnaruwa, also added that the election mechanism of the UPFA has been affected by his defection.
“If President Mahinda Rajapaksa is given the third term, he will certainly become an oppressive dictator,”Sirisena charged. Commenting on certain claims made by some ministers of the government, the common candidate said, “The LTTE tried to assassinate me, now the Government is trying to label me as a Tiger.”
“I am ready to sacrifice my life for the country and the people of Polonnaruwa,” the common candidate also added while stating that he would treat everyone fairly after coming to power, without taking revenge from any party.
Before the commencement of the meeting, he also released doves to demonstrate the symbol of his election campaign. However, the sysmbol has not been finalized yet by the elections commissioner. In the backdrop there were pictures the founders of the two major political parties in Sri Lanka – the late D.S. Senanayake and S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike.
Meanwhile, former Minister Rajitha Senaratne said when the ministers of the government would understand their fate the moment they see the pictures of the massive crowd who attended the common candidate’s first meeting in Polonnaruwa.
Predicting another significant move, Senaratne, who has now aligned himself with the common candidate of the opposition, said the opposition would soon take control of the Uva Provincial Council.
UNP Leadership Council Chairman Karu Jayasuriya, UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake, UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa, National organizer Daya Gamage and former Minister Hemakumara Nanayakkara also attended the meeting.