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Sunday, April 21, 2024

The President lies to the people – Tilvin

Tilvin Silva

The President lies and deceives the voter to face the election saying interest would be reduced for loans for cultivations and regarding bank loans says the general Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva. Whatever the President says the normal procedure of cultivation loans is to recover the loan at the next harvest said Mr. Silva.
Speaking at a media conference held at the head office of the JVP at Palawatta today (3rd) the General Secretly of the JVP said, “The Commissioner of Elections and his officials are making a just attempt to conduct a free and fair election. However, the government violates election laws and acts in an arbitrary manner. On a directive by the Commissioner of Elections three stores stored with goods to be distributed as election baits were sealed; having an election office in a land belonging to Road Development Authority was stopped. However, most of the incidents of election violence so far have been reported from Anuradhapura District.  Former chief minister Berty Premalal Dissanayake is using 40 vehicles including many government vehicles illegally for his election campaign. A candidate can use only one vehicle with his name and preference number. Using these vehicles has encouraged violence. A case was filed in Anuradhapura District Court against this situation. However, this was rejected stating the District Court has no jurisdiction to hear such cases.

There are reports that illegal activities are taking place in all three provinces where elections are to be held. The Commissioner of Elections banned a meeting of state officials organized in Ratnapura District. Former chief minister Mahipala Herath had organized a meeting of Public Health Inspectors. The Commissioner of Elections mediated and cancelled this meeting. The Commissioner of Elections stopped Minister Athauda Seneviratne’s official office at the Secretariat at Kegalle being used as an election office of the UPFA. We thank the Commissioner of Elections for actively getting involved in such matters without limiting himself to sending letters only. However, the government, as usual, continues to violate election laws.

There are several ways of violating election laws. One is to have illegal election offices. The second is to use state or private vehicles illegally.  The third is bribing. The government uses all these three illegal activities in a large scale in its election campaign. The government, like Santa Claus, gives bribes to voters. The government attempts to show a strength that it really doesn’t have by distributing water pumps, water filters, roofing sheets. Food parcels and applications for housing loans and jobs. The government gives jobs illegally when there is a situation where the government is unable to pay salaries of state employees.

Stating on stage that there is no opposition to them the government, recognizing that the real opposition to it is the JVP, is making an unsuccessful attempt to weaken the election campaign of our party by intimidation and carrying out attacks against our members and supporters. Government’s campaign of intimidation and attacks against our party seems to have intensified. On 14th August our office at Gemunupura in Trincomalee was set on fire. On 1st September a gang of armed thugs led by the Chairman of  Padiyathaalwa Pradeshiya Sabha set fire to three of our party offices at Padiyathalawa.  It is evident that the government has lost support of the masses and in a bid to stop masses rallying round the JVP a campaign of mudslinging, defamation and terror is carried out. Members and supporters of our party are threatened and party offices are torched. Several ministers and deputy ministers have made it their business to slander our party. Their only political culture is to slander our party. There is a very wide gap between what the government states and their performances.

The government has become so bankrupt that the President himself has to attend election rallies. The state media, ignoring all the directives by the Commissioner of Elections, is carrying our propaganda for the government. Also, the state media carries out a vicious campaign against the opposition, specially against the JVP. The 18th amendment to the Constitution has abolished powers of the Commissioner of Elections regarding state media.

Under such a situation it is clear that masses are completely misled at meetings held headed by the President. Two strong examples could be given for this. At a meeting in Ratnapura the President said the ‘Kaluganda project’ would be stopped as masses are against it. However, the ‘Kaluganga project was started by this President’s government not by the JVP. We have to ask why a feasibility survey was not done and harm to the masses and the area not considered before the project was started. The president now says he would stop the project that was started arbitrarily by the President and the government. This is to collect votes.

Also, the President at Pollonnaruwa said relief would be given to cultivation loans of farmers whose paddy fields were destroyed. However, the demand of the farmers is for compensation for the destruction of their crops. What the President should do is to mediate to annul cultivation debt instead of getting relief to cultivation loans. Without that the President is trying to mislead farmers by stating interest would be decreased and relief would be given regarding cultivation loans. Whether the President says or not the usual procedure of the banks is to recover the loans from the next harvest. It is evident that the President himself has come on stage to lie to the people.

Kapilawastu relics, venerated by Buddhists, too are used for government’s election campaign. Former chief minister and candidate of the ruling UPFA Berty Premalal Dissanayake distributed leaflets with his preference number to devotees who had queued up at Anuradhapura to pay homage to the relics.

The government asks for power again not to work for the masses. The government is attempting to conceal its frauds and corruption and show it has 2/3rd power and a mandate of the people. The government that won majority of seats at the last general election got opposition Parliamentarians to cross over to make a 2/3rd majority, boosted President’s powers and changed the two term limit of a President so that he could be in power indefinitely by adopting the 18th amendment. The President and the government act in this manner not to serve the masses but to protect their power.  The power that is boosted is used to repress journalists, to repress workers, students and other forces against the government. On the other hand it is used to take bribes and carry out frauds and corruption. The Chairman of Kalutara Pradeshiya Sabha was arrested when accepting a bribe of Rs.3 million. The Chairman of Central Passenger Transport Authority was arrested while accepting a bribe of Rs.150,000. He is the SLFP organizer for Maskeliya electorate. This political authority is responsible for many abuses carried out against women and children.

It is necessary to question whether the government is asking for power again to carry out arbitrary acts such as importing substandard fuel, completely muddling the education sector and carry out more and more power cuts. The JVP emphasizes that the masses should think deeply before they vote. We have launched propaganda work in all the areas where elections are to be held. We have made the masses aware of the direction the country is heading. We explained to the masses that the government was carrying out an agenda to conceal issues that exist in the country to win the election. The government is engaged in a deplorable attempt of plundering votes by concealing major issues but bringing up secondary issues. The government is raising communalism in the East. The JVP is the only political party that uses the election campaign to unite communities after the thirty year war. It is the responsibility of the masses to defeat the unethical election campaign of the government that raises communalism. We ask masses not to be scared or deceived but to use their votes against the arbitrary and despotic acts of the government. We believe masses will think deeply regarding the explanations we have made in our campaigns. We are happy that the government has recognized the JVP as the power that is against its arbitrary and undemocratic moves. We ask the masses to use their valuable vote for the victory of the masses.”

JVP Parliament for Colombo District Sunil Handunneththi too was present.


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