Construction and Engineering Services Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne yesterday said the UNP would be reduced to a minority party after the Southern Provincial Council elections while the UPFA was aiming at gaining over 80% of votes.
As former UNPers we feel sorry for the grand old party. I personally told the party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to touch the flower tray and contribute to the journey to peace and prosperity when President Mahinda Rajapaksa invited the UNP to support the government.
If he had agreed to our pleas the UNP and Mr. Wickremesinghe would not have been in the present predicament. Today Mr. Wickremesinghe is walking to disaster after disaster and there is nobody to save him and the party from total destruction, Dr. Senaratne said.
The issue before the UPFA was not the victory but to enhance its victory margin which would be over 80%. It was the Southern Province that opened the flood gates for the series of victories for the People s Alliance in 1993.
The infamous Fransicuization plotted by the UNP regime to topple the Southern Provincial Council Administration of the SLFP turned into a curse against the then UNP regime and brought the 17-year rule to an end, Minister Senaratne said.
The defeat for the UNP this time would be worse than 1993 after the series of victories at the recently held PC polls. The JVP would become a non-entity in local politics after October 10, he added.
Commenting on the arrest of three journalists of the Lanka newspaper Minister Senaratne said they were arrested by the police for their own follies.
I am always with the media. But we must not forget the circumstances that led to the arrest. Why have they questioned the caretaker of the house about the arrivals of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapsksa to the house.
President Rajapaksa had visited the house a couple of weeks ago and that has led to the suspicion. Besides, why have they taken a video camera when they are only print journalists. All these facts stood against them and led to the arrest, he said.
On the conviction of journalist Tissainayagam, Minister Senaratne said the defence was extremely weak.