UNP Deputy Leader and presidential candidate of the United National Front Sajith Premadasa who was officially nominated at the party convention yesterday, vowed to serve the people and said he would not allow family politics to intrude in governance. He said would lead the country with commitment even at the cost of his own life.
Addressing the UNP special convention yesterday at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium, Colombo, Minister Premadasa said he had no family to work for and his family was the people of this country. “I embark on this journey towards presidency in order to crown the common man and not myself. I promise that under my government we will not leave room for family politics. The country needs capable and hardworking professionals and we will certainly give such professionals preference within our government.”
Premadasa said that he had got this opportunity thanks to his dedicated leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. I thank my leader for his patience and farsightedness. He has made many sacrifices for the party. In addition, I would also like to thank Speaker Karu Jayasuriya for giving us the strength during all our tribulations.”
“I assure you that Prime Minister Wickremesinghe and I will join hands in establishing a productive government that would work for the people and not for the benefit of individuals or family,” he emphasised, adding that his agreement was with the 22 million people of this country and promised to bring prosperity to their feet.
Appreciating the sacrifices made by the security forces he pointed out that democracy was consolidated in the country thanks to the soldiers who sacrificed their lives and families to protect the integrity of the country. “We will give priority to national security. We will provide our militaries modern training and facilities. Moreover, we will also provide all facilities for the Civil Defence Force and the Police and ensure that they are not given step-motherly treatment as done previously.”
Premadasa promised to usher in a technological revolution, adding that opportunities would be presented to the people of every part of the country and not just for the affluent. “We will create equal opportunities, where all will reap the benefits of our efforts. Women will experience a golden era under our government and special emphasis will be placed on providing nutritional and other benefits to our children and women of this country.”
The UNP Presidential hopeful also assured that under his government no agreements will be signed which are not beneficial for the country. He also promised the farmers of this country an era where all benefits and facilities would be provided to revive the agriculture sector and usher in an era of rural prosperity. Assurances were also given to revive the export sector and modernize the state sector institutions to make it more productive.
He said he would implement a mechanism of developing the country starting at village level. He said what the country needs was a strong leader to steer the country towards prosperity, but added that he would also govern with compassion, patience and understanding. He added that his father R. Premadasa had worked for the people and had laid down his life among the people. “Like my father I will commit my life to the service of my people. They are my family and I dedicate my whole life to service my people,” he assured.
UNP Chairman Kabir Hashim, Deputy Leader Ravi Karunanayake, National Organizer Naveen Dissanayake, and General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam also addressed the convention. Former First Lady Hema Premadasa and Jalani Premadasa, wife of Sajith Premadasa were in attendance. Leaders of the United National Front including Rajitha Senaratne, Rauff Hakeem, Rishad Bathiudeen, Patali Champika Ranawaka, Mano Ganeshan and Palani Digambaram were also present.
(Source: Daily News – By Camelia Nathaniel)