UNP internal crisis shows real democracy exists within party: Sajith

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Ruwan Wijewardene and Sajith Premadas

United National Party Deputy Leader, Minister Sajith Premadasa says that although some internal crisis are seen inside the party to those who are not well-versed in democracy, it is really the party exercising true democracy.

“Certain factions are attempting to emphasize that there is a division within the UNP with regard to nominating its presidential candidate,” he said.

“Of course, those who are not familiar with the word ‘Democracy’ could see this situation as an internal crisis within the party.”

But, he said that democracy means itself the freedom to have different opinions.

“There are certain political parties that do not tolerate diverse opinions because the way for such opinions has been controlled inside such parties.”

He says that the freedom to have different opinions is a symbol of democracy and, pointed out that such opinions are shunned down only in an authoritarian regime.

Minister Premadasa made these comments while participating as the chief guest of Enterprise Sri Lanka exhibition yesterday at Mutraveli ground in Jaffna.

The Minister further stated: subsidized loan scheme which is implemented on a concept of Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera has paved the way for the common man to achieve his or her economic goals without holding them as distant dreams any further. They are provided with the facilities from necessary skills up to the required capital. Such interest subsidized loans are granted under easy conditions and low interest rates. Therefore, under this scheme, the aim of the government is to create one hundred thousand entrepreneurs; it has the real potential of creating one million entrepreneurial opportunities.

On my way to this exhibition venue, he said many people asked me various questions about the Tamil people’s issue.

“My stance is not to say one thing when go abroad and make a contradictory statement after returning to the country. We had certain leaders who went to India and stated 13th Plus and having returned home turned it to 13th minus. My stance is to solve this issue through maximum devolution of power within a unitary state. But I should reiterate one important point. This issue could be solved only by the empowerment of political, economic and social issues. If anybody belongs to any racial community feels that he or she is a second class citizen or, they are inferior to that of the other communities, the solution that we talk about would not be found.”

Provincial Councils were introduced as a solution to this issue. But it was not implemented fully. However, Premadasa says the 13th Amendment has become a joke today. Therefore, we should strengthen the Provincial Council system.

“Our stance is clearly announced in the policy statement publicized before the Presidential election in 2015. That is maximum devolution of power within a unitary state. There is no change in that stance even today.”

State Finance Minister Iran Wickramarathna and Jaffna Mayor Emanuel Arnold were also present.