Mangala’s interpretation of people’s verdict


The number of votes obtained by the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) is low compared to the votes obtained by Mahinda Rajapaksa on January 08, 2015 election and a significantly higher number of people voted against the return of Rajapaksa, Minister of Finance & Mass Media, Mangala Samaraweera said yesterday.

"It is evident that the same Mahinda Rajapaksa who in January 2015 commanded 5.77 million votes (47.6%) as his presidency waned, last week was not even able to muster 4.95 million votes or even 44.7% of votes. The UNP has a solemn duty not just to the 46% of the electorate who voted for us and President Sirisena’s SLFP last Saturday, but to the entire majority of our citizens, all 6.1 million of them (55.3%) who marched to the polls last Saturday and voted against a return to Rajapaksa rule," he said.

Samaraweera said that in this important phase of Sri Lankan history the government’s duty is to broaden its voter base by delivering results, while joining hands with all honest and democratic political forces to uplift our motherland and ensure that Sri Lanka never again returns to a rule by the sword.

"That is our calling and we must not fail. Our democracy, our republic, depends on it," he said adding that the people have told the government that they have not done enough in the last three years despite its sincere efforts, adding that the government is committed to taking drastic measures to fulfill the promises it made three years ago.

"The people told us that we have not done enough. Despite the sincere efforts to inject haste and independence into a dilapidated justice system over the last three years and empower the police with the tools they need to successfully investigate complex crimes, murderers and fraudsters remain at large. Despite our government being the first in the nation’s history to insist that ministers must resign from the cabinet at the first sign of wrongdoing, and indeed the first to investigate allegations of corruption within its ranks with such vigour, justice is yet to be served," he said.

Samaraweera added that this message from the people has sunk deep into the UNP, and we are committed to taking drastic measures to fulfill the promises we made three years ago and maintain the public trust. However, he is proud of two remarkable things he saw last Saturday. "The first is the conduct of an election under the auspices of an independent elections commission and police service. Never before has a government shied from manipulating public personnel, funds, resources and state media into an organ of their political ends. We hope that under these independent bodies, Sri Lanka has seen the last of corruption, intimidation and violence marring our elections," he said.

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