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The press release

(-Colombo, April 10, 2024-)

Some people are trying to spread wrong information about a debate between Comrade Anura Kumara Dissanayake, the leader of the National People’s Power, and Sajith Premadasa, the leader of the Samagi Jana Balawegaya, so the truth needs to be clarified.

The first conversation about a debate between the two sides was created with the statement made by the leader of our party, Comrade Anura Kumara Dissanayake, on 01.09.2023 on the Hiru ‘Salakuna TV programme, that he is ready for a debate with Mr. Sajith Premadasa on the development path of the country. It was in response to the opinions raised by journalists about the situation in which Mr. Sajith Premadasa was coming out with various stories against the National People’s Power in various media.

Regrettably, Mr. Sajith Premadasa declined the debate challenge for undisclosed reasons. Subsequently, several MPs from his party proposed an alternative debate on economic policies with the Economic Council of the National People’s Power. We now observe an attempt by some members of the Samagi Jana Balavegaya to divert attention from the original debate, as evidenced by the press release issued by MP Nalin Bandara on the 9th of this month.

In that announcement, he accuses the Economic Council of the National People’s Power of avoiding the debate, saying that he was the first to propose the debate and that the National People’s Power has forgotten the past. However, the Economic Council of the National People’s Power does not need to avoid the debate on the economy as it has a strategic plan and practical programme related to the recovery of Sri Lanka from the economic crisis and to develop it as a developed country worldwide.

We reiterate the crucial importance of the debate between Comrade Anura Kumara Dissanayake and Mr. Sajith Premadasa, both of whom are potential candidates for the upcoming presidential election in 2024. This debate, based on the initial discussion, will serve as a clear indicator of who is afflicted with the ‘disease of forgetting the past ‘.

Considering all this, we would like to submit the following proposals to the Samagi Jana Balawegaya

  1. We are ready to hold a debate between Comrade Anura Kumara Dissanayake, the leader of the National People’s Power and Mr. Sajith Premadasa, the leader of the Samagi Jana Balawegaya, on the path to recovery from the overall crisis that the country has fallen into.
  2. If, for any reason, the Samagi Jana Balawega is not ready for such a debate and accordingly, if such a debate is not held, the Economic Council of the National Peoples Power is prepared to have a debate with a similar representative group of the Samagi Jana Balavegaya.

In light of this, we earnestly request the Samagi Jana Balawegaya and all its affiliated parties to desist from disseminating false information about the debate. We also appeal to the public not to be swayed by these falsehoods and to perceive the situation accurately.

Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa
National Executive Member
National People’s Power
10.04.2024