The SLFP said the people who read or watch the news in some newspapers and TV channels are under the impression that the government is on the verge of collapse.
?The UNP is attempting to frighten us. It is the modus operandi of the UNP, but we will proceed with our programmes without allowing them to grab power. We will take several vital decisions in the future that will shock the UNP` said General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party Maithripla Sirisena while addressing a seminar on the theme ` Permanent Peace is the forerunner of National Prosperity and Development` on Saturday at the Auditorium of Dharmaraja Vidyalaya Kandy.
The minister said the UNP had launched a false propaganda campaign against the government to create a crisis between the SLFP and the JVP through pro-UNP electronic media at a colossal expenditure.
` I warn the media institutions that plan to destroy us that we will foil their attempt to create a crisis in the government. The UNP has been cooking up stories to show that the SLFP is facing a controversy over nominating its Presidential candidate.
The SLFP has the reputation of facing any challenge in the past. The situation today is entirely different from that of yesterday. Some individuals are attempting to give the impression that the strength of the SLFP is declining but it is a false assumption. The UNP introduced a constitution to prevent the SLFP form coming to power, but it failed. The UNP has played all their trumps but, we are awaiting the opportunity to play ours.
`It was the Norwegian Government that proposed the Joint Mechanism, which is under consideration today by the government, the LTTE and other Tamil political parties. We have thoroughly studied the Cease -Fire agreement between Mr.Ranil Wickremesinghe and Prabhakaran. The LTTE has changed its stance of a separate state, or Self Governing Authority. We will not sign secret agreements.
` The leaders of our party have not betrayed the country. The Joint Mechanism is intended to re-construct the tsunami stricken areas as proposed by the International community and not to form a separate state. The Professor who crossed over to the UNP after ruining our party now wants the government to quit.
The UNP which failed even to distribute the roofing sheets to the poor people, today criticize the government`s tsunami relief effort. Despite unavoidable lapses, we are determined to go forward implementing our programmes. I am compelled to remind that several UNPers were remanded for defrauding roofing sheets.
` The SLFP is the only political party that has served the poor masses. We do not have any crisis in the party. The JVP leaders should sort out their problems within the Alliance. We expect the JVP to act with responsibility and not to take up the contract to bring the UNP to power.
` Some individuals even protest against the SLFP of expressing views. Ours is a party that has never taken up arms or led arson attacks on public property. We must not fall a prey to the LTTE scheming` he said.
The Minister further said that the Government was in a position to include a Muslim representation in the Joint Mechanism.
Deputy Minister of Ports and Shipping Dilan Perera said that the people had given a mandate to run the country to President Chandrika Kumaratunga who takes decisions in consultation with the Alliance Government.
` The government has completed one year in power. Pro-UNP media institutions accuse the government of failing to fulfil the pledges. But we have done much for the masses more than the UNP. We abolished the UNP`s Railway Authority Act and restored five hundred reservoirs.
We rid the state media of the elements responsible for ruining our culture and inaugurated the University of Uva. Under Maga Neguma ( development of roads) programme several roads have been repaired and restored in two months the southern railway line devastated by the tsunami disaster. Power supply to the affected areas has also been restored. We are far advanced when compared to the UNP but short comings are unavoidable.
` It is true that several areas in the North and the East are not under the control of the government. The Government Agents if transferred to LTTE controlled area are compelled to adhere to LTTE policies. TNA members complain that they have to obey the LTTE although the people have elected them. `
` We deal with the LTTE with special attention paid on the Muslim community in the North- East. The SLFP is a patriotic party. We are agreeable to work under the Joint Programme, which is intended to achieve the targets of the re-construction effort. Muslim political parties should represent it as well.
The Joint Mechanism will provide us the opportunity to work in the North and Eastern provinces. The SLFP has 69 members in Parliament and the JVP 39. We still command a majority in parliament. We will not kneel down before the LTTE and betray the country.
The LTTE insisted on resuming peace talks based on their Interim Administration formula but the SLFP rejected it`
The Deputy Minister further said separatism which was the cause of war should be given up if the ethnic problem was to be solved.
Chief Minister, Central Province Sarath Ekanayake also addressed the seminar.
Chief SLFP Organizer, in Kandy Attorney at Law, M.P.Jayasinghe, Provincial council Members, M.G.Jayaratne, Ediriweera Weerawardene, Sunil Amaratunga, R.G.Smaranayake, Ananda Aluthgama,A.G.Sirisena, Organiser, Yatinuwara Electorate, Tikiri Kobbekaduwa, and several SLFP activists in the district were present.