We proved Sri Lanka has no government now – Ranil

Mahinda Rajapaksa was brought from the backdoor to the Prime Minister’s seat to form a so-called government but we proved through Parliament that that there was no such government led by him, former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said at a meeting of UNP members of local government institutions at Temple Trees on November 28.

He said that the next day the Speaker accepted their standpoint and announced that Mahinda Rajapaksa and his team had no valid ministerial posts. “The whole world saw the chaotic seen in Parliament the next day. The Sirisena-Rajapaksa clique struck a deathblow to parliamentary democracy by resorting to acts of thuggery,” Wickremesinghe said.

He said the Sirisena-Rajapaksa clique had displayed their true colours that of thugs. “Even the people who voted for the Photottuwa at the last local elections said they are ashamed of the behaviour of the clique in Parliament and would never vote for the Phottuwa again,” Wickremesinghe said.

He said that an announcement had been made on October 26 that he had been removed from the premiership but by then, no one had sacked me from the post. “Therefore, I spent that night at Temple Trees and when I woke up the next morning, I saw a large crowd assembled there to support me,” he said.

“It was the people’s support which enabled us to carry forward to save democracy. We are thankful to each and everyone who rallied round us and our party at this crucial moment to exhibit people’s power behind us,” former Premier said.

He said that on January 8, 2015, people gave them a mandate to defeat Mahinda Rajapaksa and make Maithripala Sirisena President and make him Prime Minister. That Mandate was given to strengthen parliamentary democracy rather than to appoint anyone else as Prime Minister.

“The people gave another mandate in August 2015 to reaffirm Maithripala Sirisena as President and make me Prime Minister and for the government to move forward,” he said.

He said that that mandate had not changed to date but the incident on October 26 had turned that mandate upside down to hand over the country to Rajapaksa and create a dictatorial President.

Wickremesinghe said that amidst all these challenges, they had been able to show a majority in Parliament since September 2015. He would challenge the group led by the Phottuwa to display a majority in Parliament if possible.

He said the task now before them was to regain the government and continue the development activities launched for the country’s progress.

“Despite some shortcomings on our part during the recent past, it had been proved that we had worked with good intentions according to public opinion. Therefore, we have no fear to go before the people at an election because our power emanates from people’s power. Now we have started work towards registering a new political alliance where all parties could work in unison and go forward. The United National Front is not a political party. That was why we planned to form a new political alliance which will provide shelter to all and act as a political mechanism protecting democracy,” he said.

Wickremesinghe said they had another duty to protect Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, who acted bravely in Parliament amidst all ugly scenes created by Pohottuwa supporters.

“We had now gained victory in Parliament by showing a majority with maximum strength. Therefore, people who had usurped ministry posts should now vacate those posts. If that was not done, we should all get ready to chase them out by using a Janabala Meheyuma to display the power of the people. Not only party supporters but also sections of the community belonging to all hues should be amassed to stage such a show of strength,” Wickremesinghe said.

He said that until that became a reality, he would request all party supporters to conduct public awareness campaigns in every nook and corner in towns and villages and also conduct protest campaigns throughout the country until they were noticed to participate in the Janabale Meheyuma campaign.

Wicremesinghe said parliamentarian Harin Fernando has organised a new programme, Yukthiye Yatrawa, this weekend.

“Under this programme, a motorcade with thousands of vehicles will drive from Colombo to Devinuwara on Saturday. The following morning, the participants would attend a deva pooja at Kataragama and conclude the programme the same evening at Mahiyangana,” he said.

Wickremesinghe requested all to participate in it and display their strength.

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