Opposition UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinge yesterday called on all parties including the JVP and the LSSP to join hands with the UNP in its struggle to establish the sovereignty of the people.
Speaking at a ceremony held at party headquarters to mark the 101st birth anniversary of late President J.R. Jayewardene, Mr. Wickremesinghe said the UNP would launch a J.R. Jayewardene-style sathyagraha to topple the government. `Any party can join in the struggle to force the government to resign and then campaign on their own at a future general election,` he said. Mr. Wickremesinghe said an organized struggle could force a government out of power any time. Citing examples, he said the people`s struggle in Ukraine compelled the government to hold an election and Philippines former President Ferdinand Marcos had to run away during the uprising of the people in that country.
The Opposition Leader explained the UNP had already started its struggle against the government through `Sathipola` campaign and called on community leaders to come forward to lead the people in every village. `If we can organize ourselves in small groups in every village we can make a giant effort to achieve our goal,` he said.
He recalled how late President J.R. Jayewardene launched the `sathyagraha` campaign against the undemocratic acts of the SLFP government in 1970. He said President Jayewardene organized sathyagraha campaigns all over the country which sent the government crumbling.
UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said President Jayawardene had to wait 40 years to become the leader of the UNP and the Executive President of this country. He said therefore no one should think of short cuts to reach their goals. Paying a glowing tribute to the late President he said the country would have been an isolated island if President Jayewardene did not introduce the open economy to this country.
A large representative gathering including UNP front liners, UNP parliamentarians and President Jayewardene`s family members including his son Ravi Jayewardene participated in the commemoration.