General election 2010: ‘Reject corrupt politicos’
By Shamindra Ferdinando
Feb 24, 2010
National Freedom Front (NFF) leader Wimal Weerawansa yesterday (Feb 23) urged voters to reject corrupt politicians at the upcoming parliamentary election.

The former JVPer said that they wouldn’t get another opportunity to get rid of political heavyweights, allegedly involved in waste, corruption and irregularities.

Addressing the media at the NFF office in Battaramulla, the former Colombo District MP said that now that the LTTE had been militarily defeated, nothing would be as important as defeating the crooked politicians.

He was responding to a query by The Island whether the NFF would campaign against dishonest politicians.

He said that both government and Opposition supporters should target corrupt politicians and ensure the election and re-election of honest members.

The NFF would field 17 candidates from 16 districts, including Digamadulla electorate. Weerawansa said that of them, two would contest from Gampaha (Piyasiri Wijenayake, Anjan Umman), Jayantha Samaraweera( Kalutara), Sarath Weerawansa (Matara), Darmasena Kodituwakku (Hambantota), Padma Udayashantha Gunasekera (Moneragala), Buddadasa Vithanaara-chchi (Kegalle), Aravinda Vanniarachchi (Matale), Nimal Premawansa (Mahanuwara), Nimal Piyatissa (Nuwara Eliya), Weerakumara Dissanayake (Anuradhapura), Raja Ranjith Gunaratne (Polonnaruwa), Senaratne de Silva (Kurunegala), Samansiri Herath (Puttalam), Deepal Gunasekera (Ratnapura) and Anura Munasinghe (Digamadulla).

He appealed to voters not to forget the role played by the NFF both in and out of Parliament during the three-year war against the LTTE. "We hope people will appreciate what we have done and help elect our members at the forthcoming general election," he said.

He said that preferably ‘bad eggs’ should be denied nominations, though major parties accommodated them due to political compulsions. But the people had the right to exercise their franchise against bent politicians.

Weerawansa emphasized that the National List should not be used to accommodate political rejects as done in the past.

He expressed the belief that voters could help political parties to remove the corrupt from the scene. But in the event of a good politician whose contribution could make a difference in Parliament couldn’t make it, he or she shouldn’t be denied an opportunity to engage in politics.

He said that two of their primary objectives were to ensure that the UPFA received a two-thirds majority to facilitate far-reaching constitutional amendments.

Weerawansa said constitutional changes were required to take advantage of the ground situation in a post-LTTE era.

He said that their second objective was to strengthen the President’s hand to help him reduce the jumbo-sized Cabinet.

Weerawansa asserted that a two-thirds majority would give him the strength to limit the number of ministers to about 35 Cabinet Ministers and an equal number of Deputy Ministers.

Blaming the then President JRJ for creating portfolios to accommodate members, Weerawansa urged voters to elect those who wouldn’t switch sides for personal benefit.

He said UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was now campaigning against the President’s bid to secure a two-thirds majority knowing well that the UPFA could achieve political stability.

He said former National List MP Mohamed Musammil, in the run-up to the presidential polls, set a sterling example by rejecting a bag full of money to join the Opposition Camp. Musammil made the country realize the way MPs were bribed by influential political parties to subvert governments, he said adding that their candidates contesting on the UPFA ticket would make a public pledge to follow what he called the ‘Musammil example’.

Weerawansa said that this was one of their five pledges. According to him, the party would resist the INGOs/international efforts to divide the country on ethnic lines, wouldn’t abuse parliamentary privileges, support the local economy and remain committed to true Sri Lankan values.

Courtesy: Daily News