MR trying to replace Muslim leadership with Salman Khan – Ranil

Faizer Mustapha, Nirosha Virajini, Damayanthi Fonseka, Renuka Balasuriya join Maithripala


by Zacki Jabbar

With the Muslim leadership deserting the government in hordes, President Mahinda Rajapaksa had brought down Indian actor Salman Khan in an attempt to replace them, but it was a futile attempt, UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday.

Addressing the UNP Eksath Lanka Vanitha Convention at the Vihara Maha Devi Park Open Air Theater in Colombo, he noted that Salman Khan would not be able to reverse the massive Maithri Wave that was spreading throughout the country with members of all communities uniting as never before.

The slide was irreversible and no foreign actor or actress could save Rajapaksa from losing the January 8, Presidential Election, Wickremesinghe said, adding that the President’s conduct and actions betrayed his desperation.

Wickremesinghe pledged that a government which would be formed after January 8, would ensure 25 percent representation for women in Local and Provincial Councils.

The high rates of interest being charged on pawned gold jewellery would be reduced, the price of a cylinder of gas would cost Rs. 300 less and public servants given a Rs. 5,000 salary increase in the short term, Wickremesinghe said. “I request all women voters to elect Maithripala Sirisena their President, if they want to break free from the burdens  that have been imposed on them by a bunch of inconsiderate rulers.”

a45dcc3194d2c5b5f4c1814adad970d9_LHalf way through Wickremesinghe’s speech former Deputy Minister of Investment Promotion walked on to the stage to express solidarity with the National Democratic Front (NDF) Presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena.

Sirisena observed that with the race for the presidency entering its final lap, women had an important choice to make; it was between living in fear and uncertainty and a new era where they could walk the streets safely and live in peace and prosperity. “Sri Lanka is at a crucial stage in its history and much of its destiny lies in the hands of its women folk, especially mothers. Do not let this opportunity slip away. Go early to the polling booth on January 8 and cast your vote for the Swan symbol so that we could restore decency, respect for basic human values, law and order and an opportunity for all sections of the community to progress in life,he appealed, while promising a new country for women in hundred days.

Convenor of the National Council for a Clean Tomorrow, Athureliya Rathana Thera said that another five years of life under the Rajapaksa regime would result in women losing all that they had saved through years of hard work. It was not easy, he noted, to keep the home fires burning when one was burdened with a high cost of living which was a direct result of rampant corruption at the highest levels and ill conceived economic policies.

Popular songstress Nirosha Viragini wearing a green saree said that it was the first time that she had appeared on a political platform and it had been motivated by the shabby treatment meted out to women in general and artises by the UPFA government.

She also sang a song in praise of women.

Damayanthi Fonseka, sister of UPFA MP Malani Fonseka said that she, too, had been drawn into making her maiden appearance on a political stage having witnessed the total disregard for human values in recent years and the abyss the country had fallen into.

Renuka Balasuriya a leading television announcer and film producer said that she had never wanted to engage in politics, but having seen the unfair and disrespectful treatment meted out to artistes who refused to condone the wrongs committed by the UPFA government, she had decided to back Sirisena, who was genuinely committed to creating a society where justice and fair play would be the norm.

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