No ‘second wave’ of Covid 19 – Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa | Sunday Observer

No ‘second wave’ of Covid 19 – Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa urged the Opposition not to capitalise on the Covid-19 situation to gain political mileage and create fear among the people. The Premier clarified that there are attempts by the Opposition in their election campaign to portray the recent discovery of Covid – 19 positive patients associated with the Kandakadu Rehabilitation Centre as a ‘second wave’of the Covid-19 pandemic.He said that there is no such ‘second wave’. Premier Rajapaksa called upon the media to report facts correctly and enlighten people on coronavirus prevention methods and stressed the need that all of us must unite together to defeat the pandemic.

Addressing the heads of media institutions and senior editors at Temple Trees on Thursday (July 16), Premier Rajapaksa assured that there is no need for a lockdown or curfew as the health authorities are in full control of the Kandakadu situation and as there is no sign of a new wave of social transmission of the Covid-19. virus.

He told the media heads that the positive patients are not from society but that they are all from the camps or are the associates of camp employees or inmates. All these contacts have been traced and quarantined.

The Premier said all steps were being taken to prevent any social transmission of the virus. Co-Cabinet Spokesman and Minister of Information and Mass Media and Higher Education, Dr. Bandula Gunawardena said “the message we hear from the Opposition on the political stage is that only Sri Lanka has a Covid-19 problem and that it is extensive, which is not the case at all. The media must reveal the truth to people.” Minister Gunawardena said Sri Lanka has fared much better compared to most developed countries and neighbours such as India and Singapore in terms of Covid-19 infection.

SLPP Chairman Prof. G.L. Peiris said that the people entertain the hope that the next Parliament to govern the country will ditch ‘salon door-type’ politics and have a political house with an ironclad policy which will not push the ruling party to fetch a two-thirds majority to establish the next Parliament. He told the media that the candidates the SLPP has fielded for this election have the ability to secure the necessary votes to establish the next Government without depending on the votes or seats that are won by the political parties which have pledged support for the majority.

Firm Government

Sharing the party’s views on the upcoming elections, he told the reporters “We are confident that the people will vote for a strong ruling party, come August 6. It is quite apparent that the majority votes will be cast in favour of a SLPP-led Government.

However, Prof. Peiris said it is paramount that we establish a firm Government that is able to take decisive decisions which would benefit the country and its citizens. He said following the Presidential Election results of November 2019, many countries and organisations which were very critical of the Government of Sri Lanka have now realised that the outcome was purely based on the people’s mandate to elect the SLPP as the ruling party of Sri Lanka.

Therefore, Prof. Peiris said that the results of the General Election will surely be in favour of the SLPP after August 6.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has been awarded the ‘Zero Carbon Certificate’ presented for the first ever ‘Zero Carbon Presidential Election Campaign’ in the world conducted with community participation.

Members of the Committee for Environment Policy Formulation of the Saubhagyaye Dekma (Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour) policy statement presented the certificate to the President at the Presidential Secretariat on July 16.

The Sustainable Future Group accredited to issue certificates on greenhouse gas management has confirmed that the Presidential Campaign of President Rajapaksa maintained environmental pollution and greenhouse gas emission at zero level.

This Group is recognised by the Sri Lanka Accreditation Board which has gained the international recognition in the field of greenhouse gas assessment. President’s vision and determination was to conduct his campaign deviating from the conventional election campaign practices and to cause no harm to the environment. As the Presidential Candidate he decided to hold more than 150 public rallies without using polythene, posters, banners or cutouts.

UPFA General Secretary Minister Mahinda Amaraweera has told party supporters that Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa is expected to assume the leadership of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) after the General Election when the current SLFP leader, former President Maithripala Sirisena is expected to step down. Minister Amaraweera had told the party supporters that Premier Rajapaksa is the undisputed and most suitable politician to be reappointed to the post of SLFP leader to revive the SLFP as a strong political party.

He said the Prime Minister has the blessings and cooperation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to become the SLFP leader once again. He said if the Premier is appointed to the SLFP leadership, no one would oppose it adding that the party has been led by strong leaders like him since its inception in 1952.

However, SLFP General Secretary Dayasiri Jajasekara had told the media that the SLFP did not have room for another leader as former President Maithripala Sirisena still holds the position.

He said “former President Maithripala Sirisena is our party leader. Therefore, there is no possibility of having another leader in the party.” When the media queried as to why Minister Amaraweera had made such remarks, Jayasekara said “you will have to ask Minister Amaraweera about what he meant when he made that statement.”

Verbal clashes

Verbal clashes between certain members of the SLPP and the SLFP in many parts of the country, particularly in Gampaha, Polonnaruwa and Matara Districts had come under heavy criticism by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the Cabinet meeting held on July 15. The President had said that the mudslinging between candidates of both parties cause immense damage to the SLPP election campaign and those engaged in vituperative politics have to stop it forthwith.

Minister Mahinda Amaraweera has said that voters are intelligent enough to take independent decisions to use their franchise, and they would not vote for or against any candidate only because some have demand to do so. Minister Amaraweera has said that the people have great confidence in the Government led by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and SLPP led by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. Therefore, they would vote based on the trust reposed in the two leaders.

SLPP National List candidate Dr. Charitha Herath rejected criticism that its members included questionable and politically partisan professionals and insisted that competent people from a wide range of fields had been selected to ensure that the country benefits from their expertise.

Dr. Herath told journalists, “The Parliamentary Election is the second innings in the effort that was begun last year. We completed the first innings well ensuring the election of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and now the time has come to focus on the second innings. This is crucial because we must now broaden the change that we have created to include the legislature as well.”

Dr. Herath reiterated that the SLPP’s main interest is a two-thirds majority to ensure that the Government could effect constitutional changes.

Fellow National List Candidate and former Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal supported Dr. Herath’s views and rejected accusations that the economy was being badly handled by the present Government. He heavily criticised the former Yahapalana administration for failing to improve economic growth and reduce debt.

Addressing a recent press conference at the UNP Kandy office, UNP Deputy Leader Ravi Karunanayake said SJB Leader Sajith Premadasa who was defeated by 1.5 million votes at the last Presidential Election is attempting to mislead the people by giving false pledges. He said, “This person contested the last Presidential Election by boasting that he had enormous support at grassroots level.”

Karunanayake said the organisers whose electoral seats received a humiliating defeat at the last Presidential Election have joined the SJB and the organizers who managed to win their electorates are with the UNP. He said, “The UNP is not a wayside ambalama or a resting place where anyone can come and go as they wish. Those who are challenging the UNP are still using its colour to mislead the people.”

Cricketing legend Muttiah Muralitharan is backing Minister Wimal Weerawansa’s campaign for the Parliamentary Election. Muralitharan had organised a meeting between Minister Weerawansa and Tamil businessmen in Colombo recently.

The meeting had taken place at a leading hotel in Colombo and was attended by a number of Tamil businessmen including those in Pettah. After addressing the meeting, Minister Weerawansa had offered solutions to the issues faced by the Tamil businessmen.

Complaints

SLFP General Secretary Dayasiri Jayasekara has lodged a complaint with the Election Commission regarding the use of the Party’s official colour ‘Blue’ by other political parties which were formed recently to contest the upcoming General Election.

Addressing a recent media briefing at the SLFP headquarters, Senior Vice President of the SLFP, Prof. Rohana Lakshman Piyadasa said that the colour blue means a lot to their party and that it has its own meaning. He said that according to the Party Constitution, the name of the Party is the ‘Sri Lanka Nidahas Pakshaya’ and the symbol is the ‘hand’ while the colour is blue.

The complaint also noted that the use of the colour blue can harm the history and identity of the Party and urged that immediate action be taken in this regard.

In addition, UNP General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam in a letter dated July 8, 2020 complained to the Election Commission that the SJB is misusing the colour, green purposefully to mislead the UNP supporters. The senior UNPer noted that UNP’s election propaganda is greatly affected by this misuse. Kariyawasam had pointed out the official colour of the UNP as in the party Constitution is green but the SJB is also using the same colour despite its official colour being blue.

UNP election manifesto

The UNP on Thursday (July 16) launched the party’s election manifesto for the upcoming General Election at the party headquarters Sirikotha under the patronage of UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Addressing the event, UNP Leader said that the party aims to further strengthen the parliamentary system assigning executive powers to protect democracy. He said the Independent Commissions appointed during the Yahapalana Government will not be abolished but will be further strengthened. Wickremesinghe alleged that the Government did not provide relief to the public following the collapse of the economy.

He said the Government has tried to avoid dealing with this crisis by hiding behind the Covid-19 pandemic adding that his party hopes to provide Rs. 10,000 monthly allowance to around one million who have lost their jobs. The UNP Leader said the youth refraining from involving in politics is the most focused threat to democracy and old politicians should be responsible for driving away the youth.

He added that the situation should be changed to create a political culture that suits the youth and embraces them with love. The UNP leader called upon the voters to read the election manifesto carefully, while remembering that it is only the UNP that has demonstrated in leading the country out of an economic crisis.

SJB Kandy District candidate Lakshman Kiriella said that Government should make it clear as to why the SLPP has temporarily suspended all election rallies. Kiriella said that the Government owes the people of this country a clarification over their decision.

He questioned if their decision was taken in light of a second wave of the coronavirus or if the Government was now having second thoughts over the holding of the General Election.

Addressing the media in Kandy, Kiriella said that the Government has the responsibility to ensure that people are informed and are not misled. He emphasized that it was the SLPP which called for an election when all parties were of the view that the election should be postponed.

Earlier, the SLPP in a statement issued said the major election rallies of the SLPP scheduled for July 13, 14 and 15 have been postponed. These rallies were to be attended by the SLPP Leader Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.?

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