by Zacki Jabbar
Leader of the All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) and Industry and Commerce Minister Rishard Bathiudeen yesterday quit the government and pledged the support of his party to the National Democratic Front (NDF) Presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena.
Addressing a news conference at the Opposition leaders office shortly after the ACMC had met in emergency session, Bathiudeen flanked by recently appointed UPFA National List MP Ameer Ali, Maithripala Sirisena,former President Chandrika Kumaratunga and UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said that in addition to Ali, 69 local government members and seven Provincial Councillors had also pledged their support to the NDF at the January 8, Presidential Election.
Emphasising that he had taken a principled position, the ACMC leader observed that with the end of the war, President Mahinda Rajapaksa had a golden opportunity to unite all communities and work together for the betterment of all its people regardless of race or religion.
But what had ensued was a tragic chapter in our country’s history with the rule of law being flouted with impunity courtesy the powers that be and unprecendented crime and corruption ,while democratic institutions which could have dealt effectively with the situation being silenced,he noted adding that the ACMC’s decision was motivated by a desire to reverse the dangerous journey that the Rajapaksa regime had embarked on and ensure that people could live in a civilized and democratic environment.
“We, believe that the person who could reverse the dictatorial trend is Maithripala Sirisena who has the backing of all right thinking political parties, organizations and individuals”,the ACMC leader stressed.
Leader of the UNP Ranil Wickremesinghe said that it would be a matter of time before more ruling party members defected to the NDF.
Sirisena, disimissing government allegations that the LTTE would be revived he was elected President said that he was a son of the soil and would never barter away the sacrifices of the security forces in defeating terrorism.
“We are on mission to restore democracy, good governance and law and order in a united Sri Lanka”,he emphasized.