“The whole state machinery was used blatantly for the election campaign for the election victory of the United Peoples Freedom Alliance. The ground was prepared in this manner for the election of the Western and Southern Provincial Council elections. We have to analyze the election results taking into consideration all above mentioned facts.” says the United National Party.
“What is the message conveyed by the reduction of the voter base of the United Peoples Freedom Alliance by 247,103 in the election which was conducted by controlling majority of the media, intimidating editors, media personnel, violating election laws, perverting the minds of the people by showing threat of international conspiracies? This is the most important fact that we should realize and understand.” issuing a statement Sri Lanka’s main opposition party said today.
We publish below the statement in full;
Results of the Western and Southern Provincial Councils have given important signals. Before we analyze the results we wish to take this opportunity to thank the voters for casting their votes bravely amidst many obstacles, despite false propaganda and despotic behavior of the Government. We also extend our thanks to all candidates of the UNP Organizers of the Electorates and Representatives of the people who devotedly worked hard to establish the message of the United National Party in these two provinces during this election.
We wish to extend the respect of the United National Party to Mr. Mahinda Deshapriya, Commissioner of Elections, who made an attempt to conduct the election successfully and all state officials who supported him.
Before analyzing the election results it is important to draw attention to the background under which it was conducted.
It is evident that the President played the role of the Chief Ministerial Candidate of the United Peoples Freedom Alliance in this election. The President had given such an importance to the election campaign; he took a keen interest in it right from the beginning of the campaign. The President tried to incite the feelings of the masses by talking of the international conspiracy and electric chair, contradicting some guidelines issued by the Commissioner of Elections to be followed during an election. In the guidelines issued by the Elections Commissioner, Clause No.10 says that same media exposure given to the President and to the Cabinet during an election should be given to the opposition. But this never became a reality at any stage. The whole state machinery was used blatantly for the election campaign for the election victory of the United Peoples Freedom Alliance. The ground was prepared in this manner for the election of the Western and Southern Provincial Council elections. We have to analyze the election results taking into consideration all above mentioned facts.
President requested the masses to strengthen the government at the elections held on 29th March and convey a message to the international community. Instead the intelligent people of these two provinces have given a serious message to the President by forcing the President to change his path and strategy he took after he came to power in 2005.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa never faced such an opposition from the South. Current election results gain a higher value in this background. In relation to the elections held 5 years before for the Western and Southern Provincial Councils, United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance has lost a total of 247,103 votes. Compared to 2009 number of elected members of the alliance have been reduced by 17. Whilst the voter base of the United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance is shaken, United National Party has managed to increase its voter base. United National Party succeeded in getting 42 memberships in a situation where Democratic People’s Front which contested elections along with our party in 2009
contested elections separately on this occasion. On the other hand we should draw our attention to the fact that more than 2 million out of the registered voters of the two provinces have kept away from the election process. Out of the total number of 5,898,428 of registered voters of Western and Southern Provinces only 3,921,612 cast their votes. Total number of 1,976,810 voters abstained from voting. This clearly shows the antagonism prevailing in the country towards the Government.
The voter base of the Government has been reduced by 11.4% and 9.8% in the Western and Southern Provinces respectively.
What is the message conveyed by the reduction of the voter base of the United Peoples Freedom Alliance by 247,103 in the election which was conducted by controlling majority of the media, intimidating editors, media personnel, violating election laws, perverting the minds of the people by showing threat of international conspiracies? This is the most important fact that we should realize and understand.
These election results have proved that there is no longer a place for extremism in this country. After the victory gained by our war heros, defeating the brutal LTTE terrorism all people of this country reasonably expected the unification of the fractured country. Instead, during the past 5 years we witnessed a completely different situation. People of the Western and Southern Province have come forward bravely to convey the message that they oppose the attempt to divide this country to fragments based on religion and ethnicity. People have conveyed the message very clearly that it is the United National Party which can create an environment and a country where all can live together without differences of cast and creed. Not a single person got elected from minority communities as a member of the United Peoples Freedom Alliance. There is also a marked decline in their votes in areas where different ethnic groups are prevalent. It is evident from the fact that they were in the third place in Colombo North.
President who was driving at high gear easily and comfortably, have changed to reverse gear after the election results. Rajapaksa regime which was prattling about sudden Presidential Election and General Election are going back on their word now saying there won’t be a Presidential Election until 2016. Powers in the Government have now realized that the situation will not be favourable to them in the days to come. Hence, they do not want to go for a sudden Presidential Election but to be in power in the next two years.
This election confirmed once again the necessity of the Independent Commissions. It was evident on many occasions that the Commissioner of Elections and police were rendered helpless in the face of the violations of the election laws by the powerful individuals of the Government. It is vital that Independent Commissions introduced under 17th Amendment have to be re established in order to rectify this situation. We requested from the people of the Western and Southern provinces to vote for a green light for a change of power. We received good response for the request. We give a guarantee at his moment to the people of this country and to our members that we the United National Party with the encouragement given to us by the response shown to our request that we the United National Party will embark on the fight with determination and more vigor to defeat this Government which oppresses the people, whilst carrying our message amongst the masses.