With the Presidential Election already won, do you agree that the Government is at a clear advantage at the upcoming General Election?
The United People s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) is definitely going to win the upcoming Parliamentary Election. There is no doubt about that. The people gave 1.8 million majority votes to President Mahinda Rajapaksa and ensured his victory. The people have full confidence in the President and the UPFA Government. They will reassure their decision on April 8 by electing a UPFA Government with a two-thirds majority.
What are the new developments in the opposition s campaign that may give them an advantage?
There is no new developments in the opposition s election campaign whatsoever that may give them an advantage during the upcoming General Election. This is because the opposition does not have any indicators or persons that can be used to win the confidence of the people. All such persons are now with the UPFA. With the defeat of the Presidential Election the unity of the opposition vanished. They were a little bit all right during the Presidential Election when they contested as an alliance but today they are weaker than ever as individual political parties.
The people vote only for a person and a political party with a very clear policy and a program. President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his Mahinda Chinthanaya Idiri Dekma has this. The people of Sri Lanka approved it with 1.8 million majority votes. They are not ready to reject the same policy they approved two months back. The opposition should understand this simple political concept. The other fact is now the main theme of the opposition is `Do not give two-thirds majority to the Government and not `winning the election . This shows how pessimistic the opposition s election campaign is. They have already accepted the defeat and now trying to stop the Government taking a two-thirds majority. The people have already taken a very clear and firm decision and the opposition does not have the strength and facts to change it.
Since the UPFA has been in power for a full term, what are the services that the Government had provided to make it popular?
The main task completed is totally eradicating terrorism from Sri Lanka and establishing lasting peace. This is the biggest achievement. Apart from that, there is a large number of large scale ongoing and completed development projects. Eastern Resurgence , Northern Spring , Maga Neguma, Gama Neguma new harbours to be built at Hambantota and other places, new international airport at Mattala, Moragahakanda project, Kerawalapitiya, Norochchole and Upper Kothmale projects, Southern Highway project, Api Wawamu Rata Hadamu and Mathata Thitha are a few of them. There are many more.
Does the opposition have a viable alternative policy to offer?
Not at all. Now the opposition is desperately trying to pick parts from the policy of the UPFA. This is a very pathetic situation. The UPFA hopes to obtain a two-thirds majority in order to change the existing preferential system and to make necessary changes to the existing Constitution. We discussed about this at the Parliamentary Select Committee at length during many meetings. We made a report but after taking part in all the meetings and discussions and agreeing to all, the opposition rejected to sign the report made with the consent of all parties. We lost the best chance of changing the system because of that.
Now when the Government is seeking the two-thirds majority the UNP says that the public should not give a two-thirds majority to the Government. But in their election manifesto they say that they are going to change the preferential system which requires two-thirds majority in Parliament. This is why I say they do not have a policy. The opposition is now trying their best to fool the people. But they will not be able to do so. The people never trust them and have already rejected them.
The opposition, especially the UNP says it is the only party that could achieve country s development. Your comment?
This myth has already been rejected by the majority of Sri Lankan people. There can be various opinions and ideas but to implement those ideas the public approval is required. Only if the people accept ideas, they offer power to implement them. But here the people have already rejected UNP policies very clearly and they think that the UNP is a bankrupt political party. They cannot even make a nomination list properly.
They have let down their party members and supporters. They got married to the political party which killed party members and now divorced.
The glory has vanished and no one, especially the youth, wishes to stay with the UNP. Today thousands of UNP members and supporters join with the UPFA because they have already understood that the UNP is not a proper place where they can depend on and trust. Voters, especially the new UNP voters, have joined with the UPFA.
What type of impact the results of the upcoming General Election have at international level?
The result of the Presidential Election immensely expressed Sri Lanka s public opinion to the world and to show that the election was free and fair. The result gave a special message to the world and showed the popularity of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his policy. The people showed that they trust the President and that is why they wanted him to be the President of Sri Lanka for the next six years. The election result of the upcoming General Election will endorse this decision and the demand of the Sri Lankan people once again.
The result of the upcoming General Election will show that the people very strongly re-approve the economic policy included in Mahinda Chinthana Idiri Dekma. The result will have a significant impact at international level because it will prove that no international power will be able to destabilize the stable Government of Sri Lanka and interfere with internal affairs of the country in future.
What are the international level goals of Sri Lanka achieved in the health sector under the UPFA Government?
The health sector of Sri Lanka has gained recognition at international level for many reasons. Some of them are improving infant and maternal health, controlling diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, filaria and some other diseases. The life expectancy of Sri Lanka has been increased up to 74 years and it is 76 years in the U.S. State hospitals such as Ampara, Mahiyanganaya and Dambana have won International recognition for the quality of service. Some countries such as Nepal and Kenya sent delegations to Sri Lanka to study about Sri Lankan free healthcare system to improve their own healthcare systems. WHO highly appreciated the Sri Lankan healthcare system.