JHU loyalists will take a decision based on
Gammanpila's thinking :
Sirisena on the pretext of good governance will
A progressive Govt, need of the hour - Minister Wimal Weerawansa
Government has reduced the debt burden:
Sirisena and his colleagues are local agents of an
Construction, Engineering Services, Housing and Common Amenities
Minister Wimal Weerawansa said incidents which have happened in the
limited time frame of the run-up to the presidential elections bears
ample testimony that presidential aspirant of the New Democratic
Front(NDF), Maithripala Sirisena lacks leadership qualities and dances
to the whims and fancies of various segments.
The Minister in an interview with the Sunday Observer said that
Sirisena had signed one MoU with the JHU and another with the UNP.
Besides he won't reveal the contents of the MoU with the TNA. All
these moves would lead to destabilising the country.
People don't need a change in government that will drag the country
backwards. Instead it should be one that is progressive by rectifying
existing errors. It is only President Mahinda Rajapaksa who can
successfully accomplish this task, he said.
Minister Weerawansa said Maithripala Sirisena came out of the
Government to sort out his personal problems, such a person will never
be sensitive to other people's problems. Anyway who doesn't have
This shows that Sirisena is not only unsuitable to lead the country
and was even incapable of handling his previous portfolios. When a
decision is taken to resign from his portfolio, there is a way to get
If somebody resigns even from an institution, he should notify the
head of the institution a month prior to tendering his resignation. We
have that kind of morality in our society. Even Sarath Fonseka before he
contested the 2010 presidential election intimated to the President of
his desire to do so.
Tissa Attanayake also followed the same procedure. But Sirisena on
the night before had a hopper diet with the President with no intimation
whatsoever and on the following afternoon he left the Government even
without informing the President.
Q:What is the impact on the Government on account of the JHU
A: Udaya Gammanpila was the human face and the public figure
of the JHU. The JHU was represented by Gammanpila.
Most of the JHU politicians such as Udaya Gammanpila have joined the
Only a few high level JHU leaders of the likes of Champika Ranawaka
have joined hands with the UNP and the TNA.
Champika Ranawaka has told the Udayan and Veerakesari newspapers that
there is militarisation in the North and the presidential election is
the only opportunity to get rid of that.
This is contradictory compared to previous statements made by
Ranawaka. These were the allegations levelled by the TNA earlier.
Is this the same Champika Ranawaka that we saw in the past? What is
the reason for this massive transformation of ideology?Sometimes there
may be a mega political deal behind this.
Because a small faction of the JHU such as Champika Ranawaka stand
for the Eelam ideology, those who preserve the JHU ideology will not
That is why JHU member and former Western Provincial Council Minister
Udaya Gammanpila took the decision to re-join the Government.
The people who are loyal to the JHU will take a decision based on
Udaya Gammanpila's thinking and not Champika Ranawaka's.
Q: JHU Deputy General Secretary Udaya Gammanpila's U- turn
underlines the fact that he is politically secure so long as he remains
with the UPFA. Should this not apply to others who crossed over?
A: Udaya Gammanpila rejoining the Government does not mean
that he is politically secure so long as he remains with the Government.
He can foresee what is going to happen. We signalled a warning.
Maithripala Sirisena under the pretext of good governance wants to
exploit the votes of the people.
He will not ensure good governance. Finally what the pro-LTTE
elements want will be fulfilled.
This was the main reason why Gammanpila rejoined the Government. He
foresaw the danger after being in that same camp for sometime.
Whatever shortcomings are there, he knows that it is only the
incumbent Government which can ensure security and preserve the
He also is of the view that only by being in this Government can he
exert pressure with regard to good governance. I think what he did was
Q: The UPFA defectors habit of washing dirty linen in public
is politically suicidal. Your comments?
A: A Cabinet paper is submitted to Cabinet on each foreign
loan obtained for a project. I haven't seen the JHU opposed to any such
I don't know whether it happened on a day when I was absent at a
I know the JHU didn't have any issue with regard to obtaining loans.
Another complaint levelled by the JHU is that the Government has granted
permission to open new casinos.
This Government has not given any license to promote casinos.
Permission has not been granted to open a single new casino during
the tenure of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The casino king is Sirisena's
His brother Dudley Sirisena won a car as a prize which was offered to
the best casino punter by a leading night club in Colombo.
Fielding a casino king's brother as the common candidate, the joint
Opposition levels allegations against the incumbent Government for
They also accuse the Government of obtaining loans at high interest
rates. But the Government has not obtained any loan exceeding seven
percent interest as claimed by the Opposition.
Governments which ruled the country from 1977 to 1994 have obtained
loans for high interest rates ranging from 7 to 10 percent.
The Nilwala Ganga, Samanala Wewa and some other projects are
examples.This is clear testimony as to who has obtained loans on high
interest rates and who was engaged in mega deals.
The allegations relevant to those who are in the opposition camp are
levelled against the Government due to the fear that the Government
would level those allegations against them.
Q: What really made former SLFP General Secretary Maithripala
Sirisena to leave the Government? How do you look at this scenario?
A: He has clearly stated that he left the Government for
personal reasons and not being able fulfill his duties as a Minister of
He said he lost the draft of the National Drugs Policy while the 80
percent pictorial warnings on cigarette packs was reduced to 60 percent.
He quit the Government expressing his grievances.
That is why he is requesting the people to elect him as the President
to redress his grievances.
Do the people want to elect someone shedding tears in front of the
people? He should come forward on behalf of the people. Has he quit from
the Government on behalf of the people?
He has left the Government to sort out his own problems. A person who
leaves the Government due to personal problems will never be sensitive
to the problems of the people.
Who doesn't have problems? This clearly shows that Sirisena is not
only unsuitable for to lead the country but was inefficient in his
earlier capacity as the Minister of Health. When a decision is taken to
resign from there is a method to follow.
If somebody resigns even from an institution, he should inform the
Head of the institution a month prior to tendering his resignation. We
have that kind of morality in our society.
Even before Sarath Fonseka contested the 2010 presidential election,
he informed the President. Tissa Attanayake also followed the same
procedure unlike Sirisena who on the previous night had a hopper diet
with the President and on the following afternoon he left the Government
even without informing to the President.
It was Sirisena who proposed President's name to the SLFP Central
Committee as the presidential candidate and he also handed over that
proposal to the UPFA in writing.
He didn't have the gumption to tell the President that he was
quitting the Government. Even Fonseka and TissaAttanayake had that
Here Sirisena followed a primitive methodology which is unsuitable to
a politician. What would be the plight if the country's leadership goes
to this kind of immature person?
We should also look at the statements made by him. At a recent
election rally, he said that he will close all the gates of the
Bandaranaike International Airport by 12 midnight of January 8, 2015.
On the following day, Sirisena at Champika Ranawaka's book launch
said that he is not insane to make that kind of statement.
Denying a statement made the previous day shows that all other
statements made by him should also be considered in the same manner.
Q: With what President Mahinda Rajapaksa has done for the
country, could one entertain any misgivings about his victory?
A: In 2005, President Rajapaksa took over a country and an
economy which had collapsed due to terrorist activity.
The President put an end to war against terrorism in four years. In
the next five years, he took the country forward by successfully
overcoming economic challenges.
The Opposition alleges that the country's debt burden has increased,
but the Government has reduced the debt burden to 70 percent as a
percentage of the GDP. During the tenure of Ranil Wickremesinghe ,this
was 101 percent.
The economy was a minus growth during former President
ChandrikaBandaranaike Kumaratunga's tenure.
At present, the GDP has increased and all our economic indicators are
As the Opposition divides the debt with the number of people, why
can't they divide income with the number of people?
The Opposition through making such false analyses undermine the
massive development that has taken place in the country.
We have completed only five years after the end of the war against
terrorism. The President has developed the economy and taken the country
forward from that decisive juncture.
Earlier a huge amount of money was spent on the war. Now the
Government is making a huge investment on socio-economic development.
We should move forward with stability. The Government prevented the
division of the North and the East.
Some elements attempt to get police and land power for the Northern
Provincial Council and appoint their own Governor and pass legislation
and drag the country towards the separatist trap once again.
There is no other leader such as President Mahinda Rajapaksa who can
prevent such a threat and take the economy forward.
Only the incumbent President has that personality and the ability to
do so. The incidents which have occured in this short time frame of the
run-up to the presidential election campaign is enough proof that
Maithripala Sirisena does not have any leadership quality and dances to
the whims and fancies of various segments.
He has signed one MoU with the JHU and another onewith the UNP. He
does not reveal the content of the MoU that he reached upon with the TNA.
All these moves would finally lead to destabilise the country.
Actually the people don't need a change which will drag the country
They need a change to take the country forward by rectifying the
existing errors. It is only President Rajapaksa who can successfully
accomplish that task.
Q: There is media speculations that the TNA would also extend
support to the NDF Candidate. In this context how would a party such as
the JHU with a nationalistic outlook stand together with them?
A: The final week of the election campaign, the TNA will make
a statement asking the people in the North to vote for the common
candidate. Because they think when they make such a statement in the
final week of the campaign, it would not cause any damage on Sinhala
This is the consensus they have reached. On the other hand, they have
agreed to remove the Northern Province Governor and withdraw the
Security Forces from the North by fulfilling the request made by
Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran.
This would open avenues for the LTTE to resume their terrorist
activities in those areas. Today the JHU has also undertaken this
A question has arisen as to whether the JHU over the past few years
was a genuine national movement or not.
Can a national movement such as the JHU support this kind of vicious
contract? The Common Candidate's claim to ensure good governance within
100 days would finally lead to creating an Eelam governance within100
These are mega political deals. Otherwise, a political party cannot
change in this manner and shift positions.
Q: How do you analyse the decision taken by UNP General
Secretary to quit his party and join the Government?
A: If the incumbent Government is going to be toppled, no
Opposition member would join the Government at this juncture.
If the impression created that the Government will collapse due to
Maithripala Sirisena and a few others leaving the Government, nobody
will cross over to the Government from the Opposition.
But the UNP General Secretary quit his party and joined the
Government. There will be more crossovers from the Opposition to the
At present, UNPers have come to the conclusion that no change will be
made and this is Maithripala Sirisena's game to cater to the interest of
former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga.
Tissa Attanayake took this decision as he understood the situation.
Q: The Opposition often questions as to what this 'foreign
conspiracy' that is being hatched against the UPFA Government. Could you
elaborate on this?
A: We have responded to this query on many occasions. If there
is no need to destabilise this Government, resolutions are not brought
against the Government by the US at the UNHRC in Geneva.
For this resolution to be moved to punish the President, their
prerequisite is that President Rajapaksa should be defeated at the
election. These are interconnected.
That international conspiracy is in operation now. Sirisena and his
colleagues are the local agents of that international conspiracy.
Q: Could you explain what is this“political double dutch
speak” of the JVP. Is it supporting the President or the Opposition
A: The JVP is a party which makes self-criticism and agreed
that it was a wrong decision to extended their support to President
Mahinda Rajapaksa and Sarath Fonseka. They are not ready to directly
support Sirisena, that is why they are talking in “political double
That is to vote anybody to defeat Mahinda Rajapaksa.
When the people ask them is it Sirisena who can defeat President? The
answer that the JVP trots out is: The JVP wants to defeat President
Rajapaksa but can't take the responsibility on the common opposition
Because they fear that he would be worse than all former leaders. If
the JVP has confidence in Sirisena, they would not behave in this
Q: Do you see the amendments to the Constitution as an urgent
need at this particular juncture as claimed by some politicians and
certain sections of society?
A: The country should go for a new Constitution by obtaining
the views of the people.
The UPFA manifesto will also include necessary proposals for that.
When the proposals are submitted, we can commence extensive
discussions on what changes should be made.