Paving the way for good governance:
Honest and dedicated members will head LG bodies - Premier D.M.
Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne said that on the directive of President
Mahinda Rajapaksa a decision has been taken by the Government to appoint
only honest and dedicated members as chairmen and deputy chairmen to all
UPFA controlled Local Government institutions.
The Premier in an interview with the Sunday Observer said if any UPFA
Council member has committed an act of corruption or wrongdoing, he will
not be given the chairmanship even though he had obtained the highest
number of preferential votes.
This initiative of the Government would pave the way to create good
governance within the Local Government system.
The Prime Minister said the Government achieved a resounding victory
at the Local Government polls in an atmosphere where the election
related incidents have shown a significant decrease.
Over 4,000 polls related incidents of violence had been reported
during the past five Local Government elections held in the country. But
this has been reduced to 205 incidents during the 2011 Local Government
Therefore, this is a clear indication this Local Government election
has been conducted in a very free and fair manner, he added.
Q: What is your view on the victory achieved by the UPFA at
the Local Government polls?
A: The people have extended their fullest support to the UPFA
at the Local Government polls due to the attempts made by the Government
under the leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to end the three
decades old terrorism. After successfully ending the war against
terrorists, the President has initiated a series of programs to uplift
the countryís socio-economic and religious sectors.
This has generated patriotism among the people irrespective of caste
and creed. As a result of that patriotic feeling created among the
people, they have given a resounding mandate to the UPFA at the Local
I firmly believe this is a clear endorsement by the people on his
Q: What is your view on the heavy defeat faced by the UNP and
the JVP at the LG polls? Why were they rejected by the people?
A: The people have fully realised the significant developments
achieved by the programs launched under Mahinda Chinthana Idiri Dekma
for their future well-being. The people have a lot of affection towards
the President as a leader who loves the people and the Motherland.
The UNP always attempts to criticise and gives a wrong impression to
the people on the programs launched by the Government.
The UNP also plays the role of a spy to provide various information
to foreign countries to de-stabilise the territorial integrity and
destroy the ancient heritage of the country.
The people have very well understood that the UNP has hatched these
conspiracies as they donít love the country.
Therefore, the people did not vote for the UNP.
The JVP always criticises even the good initiatives taken by the
Government on behalf of the country. They have acted to mislead the
people that the Government has not done anything on behalf of them.
However, the people are very intelligent and they have realised that
these are entirely false rumours fabricated by the JVP with hatred to
gain narrow political objectives. These two factors led the UNP and the
JVP to face a heavy defeat at the election while the people have placed
their confidence in the Government.
Q: Have you decided on the chairmen of the Local Government
institutions which the UPFA has won?
A: The approval has already been given to appoint chairmen to
a large number of Local Government institutions won by the UPFA. The
rest of the appointments will be made very soon.
Q: Will this victory help the UPFA to achieve similar success
at the rest of the Local Government institutions for which the polls are
scheduled to be held? How is the UPFA campaign proceeding for that
A: There is a possibility of conducting elections to some of
these Local Government bodies in May.
The Government intends to conduct elections to Urban Councils where
the polls were postponed in June.
We are confident that we would be able to win all these Local
Government institutions. Our organisers and candidates have already
engaged in their election campaign in these Local Government areas in a
more successful manner.
Q: How will the newly won Local Government bodies help to
achieve the Mahinda Chinthana development targets?
A: The President has already commenced a program to develop
one million villages while another program has been launched to
construct one million houses. The Government has already commenced its
development drive to turn Sri Lanka into a self-sufficient nation.
Most of these development activities have to be launched through
The Government will use the newly elected chairmen and members of
these Local Government bodies to develop villages.
Q: How does the Government plan to eliminate waste and
corruption at the new local bodies?
A: If any council member had committed any corruption or
wrongdoing, a decision has been taken not to appoint such members as
chairmen of these Local Government institutions.
If such a member has obtained the highest number of preferential
votes, he or she will not be given the chairmanship of that Local
At this time, the Government will only appoint honest and dedicated
persons as chairmen and deputy chairmen to these Local Government
This would pave the way to create good governance in these Local
Government institutions. In future if any Local Government institution
acts in an unlawful manner, steps will be taken to suspend the functions
of such Local Government bodies after conducting a full scale
Q: When does the Government plan to introduce the proposed
Jana Sabha concept?
A: So far the Government has not yet reached a final decision
After conducting elections to the Local Government bodies where the
polls were postponed, the Government will discuss about the proposed
program to implement this Jana Sabha system.
Q: There was some deaths and violence reported at the polls
campaign. How can these be avoided in future elections? When will we see
the introduction of the new electoral system?
A: When we consider the history of past five Local Government
elections held in the country, over 4,000 polls related violent
incidents had been reported during those elections. During this 2011
Local Government election, this` violent incidents reported from the
entire country has been restricted to 205. Therefore, the Government has
achieved this resounding victory in an atmosphere where the election
related incidents have shown a rapid decrease.
This Local Government election can be described as a free and fair
election compared to previous Local Government polls. I hope in future,
we would be able to reduce the number of incidents to a minimum level.
The President gave clear guidelines to conduct this election and also
instructed the UPFA organisers to act in a responsible manner during the
UPFA election campaign.
In order to further reduce these violent incidents in the future, a
decision has been taken by the Government not to give the chairman or
deputy chairman posts to the members based entirely on the criteria of
the number of preferential votes they obtained. This would prevent the
attempts made by some candidates to obtain more preferential votes by
engaging in various wrongdoings.
The Government has already laid emphasis on the new electoral system.
But we have enough time to introduce this electoral system as there
are no elections within the next few years.
The Government intends to further discuss this issue with the
Opposition and the public and obtain their views in this regard.
Therefore, the changes to the existing electoral system will be made
after extensive discussions with political parties and the public.
Q: The Opposition accuses the Government of misusing State
media and resources for the UPFA election campaign. Your comments?
A: This is a normal situation in Sri Lanka after every
election. The defeated political party always levels various allegations
against the winning party.
This is the nature of Sri Lankan politics. Normally the defeated
party always attempts to cover up their defeat by levelling various
baseless allegations against the winning party. As I mentioned earlier,
only 205 election related incidents have been reported during this
election when compared to over 4000 incidents reported during the past
five Local Government polls.
This is a very good indication that this election has been conducted
in a free and fair manner. During an election some incidents may be
reported from certain areas. These kinds of incidents are reported even
from well developed countries as well, because all those who engage in
these election campaigns are human beings.
As this Local Government poll has been conducted in a peaceful
atmosphere, the Opposition which cannot tolerate the landslide victory
achieved by the Government makes various baseless allegations against
the Government to give some relief to their supporters. Otherwise there
is no truth in most of these allegations levelled by them.
Q: Although there are no elections until 2016, the Opposition
is already talking about toppling the Government. Is there any
possibility of that happening?
A: The elections to nearly 60 postponed Local Government
bodies are scheduled to be held by June. Again an election will be held
after four years. Before this Local Government election, the Opposition
said they would definitely win this election. They also said the
Government would be toppled within a year.
The UNP which wanted to topple the Government has been able to win
only nine Local Government institutions at this election.
This shows the people have completely rejected the false propaganda
campaign launched by the UNP/JVP to deceive them.
The outcome of the elections is also a good indication that Sri
Lankans cannot be cheated or misled.
Q: Although there was a fear that the election turnout would
be low eventually there was a nearly 70 percent voter turnout. Do you
see this as a victory for democracy and a demonstration of peopleís
faith in the Government?
A: Definitely, the people have given a resounding mandate to
the Government. They have voted the UPFA to vest the powers of
Pradeshiya Sabhas and Urban Councils to the President and the
This is a clear evidence that the majority of the people are with the
President and the Government.
Q: How do you view the visit made by the President to
Parliament on Tuesday. Do you think this would create a close rapport
between the Executive and the Legislature in future?
A: All former Presidents only came to Parliament to deliver
the budget speech. According to the amendments made to the Constitution,
President Mahinda Rajapaksa has decided to come to Parliament from time
to time and answer the questions raised by the Parliamentarians.
This would pave the way to create a close coordination between the
President and Parliamentarians.
This unique example set by the President would help to further
strengthen parliamentary democracy and facilitate to make joint efforts
to create a more democratic form of governance in the country. All
former Presidents did not have a close relationship with the Parliament.
At present a close coordination is developing between the President and
Q: The statement made by you at the previous emergency debate
in Parliament on the alleged camps in Tamil Nadu to train terrorists has
been denied by the relevant authorities. Your comments?
A: At present various media reports are carried in the
newspapers that four countries have launched their attacks against
Libya. Actually we donít know about the ongoing situation in Libya.
We also know about it from various news stories and headlines carried
in the newspapers.
When we also make a statement in Parliament about the situation in
Libya, we also quote these news stories appearing in the newspapers.
Otherwise no Government or Opposition MP has gone to Libya to look
into the situation. But after these news reports appeared in the
newspapers, somebody may deny it and say no country has attacked Libya.
Most of the incidents taking place throughout the world are known by
the people through the media.
The statement made by me on the alleged camps set up in Tamil Nadu is
also similar to this point highlighted by me.
If somebody argues on this issue by exceeding the limit, itís a lack
of knowledge on his part and shows his ignorance.