‘Lanka stands poised upon a razor’s edge’ – Karu J calls for a united opposition


Source of News: Ada Derana

Thanks to the present administration, Sri Lanka stands poised upon a razor’s edge. This regime has silenced dissent with brutality and violence, divided the opposition and depleted our numbers through coercion and extortion, says a statement issued by United National Party (UNP) Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya.

The Gampaha district Parliamentarian appeals to his ‘friends and colleagues, Somawansa Amarasinghe, Gen. Sarath Fonseka, R. Sampanthan, Rauff Hakeem, Mano Ganesan, Wickremabahu Karunaratne and all those in government ranks who can no longer condone the tactics of the present regime, to get together as a strong opposition against the government.

The statement in full:

I believe that the time is opportune for all Sri Lanka’s political forces who are opposed to the tyrannical course the present regime has set for this country to come together to preserve the future of this nation. That Sri Lanka is in the midst of a crisis is now well understood, by politician and public alike. The euphoria of the war victory can no longer overshadow the grave economic peril, the lawlessness and obvious power hunger of a single family — all direct results of unfettered, unchecked governance of today.

We may no longer be a nation at war, but we continue to struggle against the forces of hatred and discord, which threaten a hard won peace. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of gross mismanagement on the part of our rulers. Our health and education systems — the cornerstones of social life are in the doldrums. Our apparel, porcelain and other critical industries are under siege by the removal of the EU’s GSP Plus concession, thanks to the high-handed, pigheaded attitudes of this regime, which believes it is beyond reproach and that Sri Lanka stands alone in the world, with no obligation to adhere to the accepted norms of civilized conduct towards her citizenry.

Students are dying at the hands of law enforcement, media organisations are being torched, international organisations are being laid siege to, infants and toddlers are dying from mosquito borne diseases, the cost of living escalates on a daily basis, and still the government continues to do as it pleases, assured of no repercussions or consequences. That is the collective failure of the political opposition and by this grave omission, we the opposition have failed the people of this country.

Sri Lankans continue to put up with the sins of this regime, because they lack a credible alternative. They are tired of being divided, tired of pseudo ideological walls and partisan roadblocks, tired of being stirred into hatred and suspicion of their fellow citizens. Sri Lanka needs direction; the people of this country desperately need to believe in their leaders once again. I call upon my fellow members of opposition to join together in shedding our differences, letting go of old wars and seemingly insurmountable separate ideologies, in order to unite and emerge stronger than ever against a common and ruthless enemy.

This will not be an UNP agenda or a JVP agenda, or a TNA agenda, but a truly Sri Lankan agenda and one which will, through the defeat of this regime’s policies usher in a better day for our nation. I believe that together, we can stall this government’s juggernaut, put an end to their tactics of repression and lead the people of this country to fight for the kind of peace and prosperity they truly deserve.

Thanks to the present administration, Sri Lanka stands poised upon a razor’s edge. This regime has silenced dissent with brutality and violence, divided the opposition and depleted our numbers through coercion and extortion, and placed our beloved country in an unenviable position in the world from which it will be difficult to extract ourselves.

The only way to fight against this is to unite, against all odds and on behalf of the people we serve. Our show of unity will undoubtedly stir the silent majority, that section of our people who only needed to see true and credible leadership to rise up against the injustices of this regime, and with the people’s power we can march towards the defeat of this present dictatorial government and have a brighter political future. I believe that as we stand at the crossroads of history, we can make the right choices, and meet the challenges that face us. In order to provide our people with the wake up call they so desperately need, overwhelmed as they are by government propaganda, we must rise first. Throughout history, our leaders have shown us that it is only unity that results in victory.

Our failure lies in the fact that for too long, we have been divided over the things that hardly matter in the grand scheme of things.

And so, to my friends and colleagues, Mr. Somawansa Amarasinghe, Gen. Sarath Fonseka, Mr. Sampanthan, Mr. Hakeem, Mr. Ganesan, Mr. Wickremabahu Karunaratne and all those in government ranks who can no longer condone the tactics of the present regime, I make this appeal. This is our moment. Let us choose hope over fear, unity of purpose over discord. If we do this, the people of Sri Lanka will trust us to lead them to a better day. As we face a future with no war, let us fight to free the General who liberated us from the clutches of terrorism, work towards economic development that would filter down to the people, and regain our position as a just and civilised member of the world community.

Fear, suspicion, intolerance and lack of respect for human life have no place in this Land of the Buddha. Let us join hands to take back Sri Lanka.

Ada Derana

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