The SLFP`s chief campaign organiser Mangala Samaraweera said yesterday that if the CWC wanted to champion lost causes there was nothing to be done about it.
Responding to widespread speculation that the estate-centered party would announce its decision to support the opposition candidate today, Minister Samaraweera told a news conference that CWC leader Arumugam Thondaman would be committing political suicide by backing a losing candidate at the November 17 poll.
`We would have liked to take our campaign forward with Mr. Thondaman on board. But with or without him, we are committed to continue our excellent work in the estate sector if at all with a better programme after Mahinda Rajapakse becomes the President on November 17,` Mr. Samaraweera said adding that he felt sorry about what his dear friend Arumugam Thondaman was planning to do.
Mr. Samaraweera said he was certain that either way, the estate people would respond positively given the massive development the community has seen under the PA regime.
The Premier`s campaign chief also denied charges levelled by the UNP about Mr. Rajapakse`s alleged abuse of state resources and hosting lavish parties at Temple Trees. He said those charges were the opposition`s way of justifying its impending defeat on November 17.
Mr. Samaraweera said that it had always been a political practice in this country to host the public who attend rallies and meetings as well as those campaigning. `But we categorically state that the Premier is not using a cent of government funds to provide meals or even a cup of tea to those who come to Temple Trees,` he said.
`This is an Alice in Wonderland type of campaign by Ranil, and he is fooling no one but himself,` the minister said.
A dramatic moment at yesterday`s news conference held at the SLFI auditorium came when two former office bearers of the UNP`s National Youth Front were ceremonially ushered in and sat at the head table.
The two former UNP youth leaders, Ananda Priyantha and Samantha Navaratne were given an opportunity to speak during the briefing. With dire threats of revealing all manner of unsavoury things about UNP Leader and Presidential hopeful Ranil Wickremesinghe, the two young men said that they were at an advantage to show the country`s youth who the UNP candidate really was, having worked so closely with him.
Alleging gross injustices done to him by the UNP, Mr. Priyantha charged that Mr. Wickremesinghe refused to allow democracy to reign within his own party and said the UNP Leader was one who had never known hunger or suffering. `He does not understand our plight, don`t be fooled by his youth-friendly rhetoric,` Mr. Priyantha said.
Picking up the thread, Mr. Navaratne, who was formerly vice president of the National Youth Front said that Mr. Wickremesinghe was like failed goods being repacketed and remarketed over and again.
`He is not marketable. That`s why he needs members of the business community all around him,` he charged.