Family rule or Democratic rule? – Ranil Wickremasinghe

[TamilNet, Sunday, 13 December 2009, 10:22 GMT]
“The time has come for the people to decide whether they want the Rajapakse family rule to continue or democratic rule to be restored in Sri Lanka,” Leader of the opposition and United National Party (UNP), Ranil Wickremasinghe, who is in Jaffna canvassing support for Sarath Fonseka, the common candidate of the opposition parties in the presidential election, said Saturday speaking among the students of the private College of Education near the Buddhist temple in Jaffna.

Ranil in Jaffna
Ranil in Jaffna
Ranil in Jaffna
Ranil Wickremasinghe began the day with worshipping in Nalloor Kanthasuvami Koayil and then at the Naga Vihare.

He spent nearly 45 minutes at the College of Education where he fielded a volley of questions from the students.

On being asked on the leading role played by Sarath Fonseka in evicting civilians in Jaffna district to set up the High Security Zones (HSZs) of Sri Lanka Army (SLA), Ranil said that the HSZs were then necessary to protect the SLA camps from Liberation Tigers’ artillery attacks.

He, however, said that the HSZs are no longer necessary as the war has ended and that resettlement in the HSZs should commence at once.

Ranil further said that HSZs are not confined to the North and East only and that Rajapakse has created them in Colombo too.

Commenting on TNA, Ranil said that he hoped that it would support Sarath Fonseka. He further said that while the opposition parties were protesting against the government for not resettling the IDPs, TNA parliamentarian Sri Kantha was singing praises of Basil Rajapakse.

Ranil Wickremasinghe later visited Jaffna Bishop’s House where he met the representatives of the Committee for Peace and Goodwill led by Bishop Rt. Rev. Thomas Soundaranayagam.

He then visited Jaffna University and later met the representatives of Jaffna Traders’ Association representatives.

Speaking among the students of Jaffna University Ranil said that true resettlement of the IDPs is not transferring them from one camp to the other but to allow them to return to their own villages.

He also said that all who had been arrested or surrendered themselves during the military offensive should be released immediately and rehabilitation measures be taken for those who need it.

“I do not say that Sarath Fonseka is hundred percent right but he is the right person to send Mahinda home; though we have our differences with all the political parties including JVP, all the opposition parties are united in sending Mahinda home,” Ranil said.

In response to a question raised by Jaffna University students Ranil said that within one year the presidential system would be abolished if Sarath Fonseka is elected president.

In conclusion, Ranil said that he hoped that TNA would take a practical decision and that the time has come for it to reconsider its principles.

“Do not spoil your future and ours and do not waste your votes,” he said.


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