Comrade Anura Kumara Dissanayake, leader of the JVP
“As the National People’s Power, we have made arrangements to hold a representatives’ conference on the 20th at the Monarch Imperial Conference Hall in Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte. As we all know, the New Year has now been a two-year parliamentary term. We all know that the term of office of the President has exceeded two years and the term of Parliament has exceeded one year. The ruling party made many promises to the country during the Presidential and Parliamentary elections. Defending the rule of law and order, promoting economic development, providing subsidies to the farmers, and even unrealistic expectations such as providing hundreds of thousands of jobs were also given to the people. But in a very short period of time, they are fast becoming unpopular among the people. The main reason for this is the economic crisis.
The economy is facing the deepest crisis in our history. According to media reports, more than 1,500 containers of essential goods are stranded at the port. There is a risk of not being able to repay foreign loan instalments. There is a shortage of essential commodities and prices have skyrocketed. The government has imposed various import restrictions. It has failed to provide quality inputs to the farming community. People of all levels, of all fields, are experiencing these conditions today. Due to this, the people of the country have started talking in the hope of a new change. It has been revealed that fraud and corruption have taken place even during the Covid pandemic. Decisions taken to solve the fertilizer problem are rife with fraud and corruption. There have been many tax evasions including sugar tax fraud. Therefore, the people of our country are calling for a government free from fraud, corruption, and waste. The state institutional system has become inefficient and state enterprises are running at a huge loss. State property is being sold. Loans are obtained by kneeling before various terms and conditions imposed by the world. A country that has failed in every way is left for us.
People now want a solution to problems rather than a discussion of problems. The solutions traditionally expected from the SLFP or the UNP are no longer being sought. Just as the people have become disillusioned by the government, so have they rejected the United National Party and its dissident faction. People are rallying for a new solution. Everyone longs for a new kind of power transfer instead of the traditional power transfer. The common people are with the hope to build a peaceful state by upholding the rule of law, uplifting the lives of the rural people, free from fraud and corruption, and even claiming the property of those who committed fraud and punishing them. Until now our country had a history of embracing one party after rejecting the other. The National People’s Power is ready to be the new ruler, the solution to the crisis, the rebuilding force of the shattered motherland. People are rallying for a policy change that goes beyond the traditional transfer of power and the transfer of faces. We are ready to accept the challenge of making the National People’s Power the solution to rebuilding the shattered motherland.
We had lengthy discussions with bar associations, engineers, agronomists, rural communities, and trade unions. Building this country is not an individual aspiration. The forces that want positive change in this country must be called together. That centre is the National People’s Power. We are holding the National People’s Power Representatives’ Conference on the 20th with the main objective of launching a programme according to those discussions that have taken place so far and to introduce the group of representatives. Not everyone can be invited due to health reasons. Therefore, groups of representatives identified from various fields will be convened to hold this conference. We plan to introduce leadership councils at the district level in January. Teams formed at the top alone cannot overcome this challenge. This challenge can only be overcome if millions are brought together. We bring Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims as well as people from rural, urban and all fields to one centre. A programme has been formulated to empower the people not only in urban but also in rural areas. We plan for a massive public movement by engaging in dialogue with the people and exchanging ideas. We call on the people to find a solution to the destructive path that has been taken up to now.”
The country has been dragged into a situation where it is above only Afghanistan in this region…
Attorney-at-Law Lal Wijenayake
“For 73 years the Senanayake family, the Bandaranaike family, the Jayawardhane family and now the Rajapaksas have been implementing the same politics in the country. As a result, our country today is only above Afghanistan in the region. At the time of independence, it was second only to Japan. It has collapsed economically and is in a very tragic position in terms of human rights. Those in police custody and prisoners are being killed. Also, the debates in Parliament show how much of a breakdown has taken place. The main challenge before us is how to rebuild the broken country. It is so broken that educated and talented youth in our country are waiting to go abroad. Therefore, in order to overcome the economic, social and political crisis, a programme that is different from the traditional method should be implemented. A programme for discussions will be presented to the people on the 20th and a leadership council will be announced to take our actions forward. This is the first time in the history of Sri Lanka that such an event is held. We present a programme to run the country by empowering the people.”
We are inviting each and everyone to make decisive changes to our country…
Dr. Harini Amarasuriya
“From the beginning, we prioritized making programs to move the country forward in consultation with various communities. In the last year, the situation has changed rapidly. During that period, it was obvious how human lives have become extremely difficult and unstable. People are weeping and suffering from their troubles and have no place to vocalize all their issues. Even in the midst of the Covid pandemic and its limitations, our convention will be held to change the path of our country with our solutions. Our country needs a decisive change through a collective effort. The people are in a situation where they are avoiding the economic process as well as the political process. We aim to bring people back to this process. This country needs genuine democratic activism. Therefore, we invite everyone to join us. We may have differences and debates; however, we have common ground to agree and unite. Based on that belief, we are holding this convention to restore hope to the people and restore the trust that the country can be changed. The first step will be taken on the 20th of this month.”
We urge the youth to unite to build the country without leaving the country…
Dr. Nihal Abeysinghe
“Our country is in a very decisive moment. In 1505 the Portuguese invaded our country and took complete control of the coastal areas. After another 150 years, Dutch invaded us. The English who came after them fully conquered the whole country. The same thing happening now, these two camps have been brought to that position after ruling the country. It is obvious that these people have entered into agreements with various countries and companies, as a result, there will be a catastrophe in the future. Therefore, the program presented by the National Intellectuals Organization(NIO) and the National People’s Power(NPP) will be made public. In the last Presidential election and the General elections, people voted overwhelmingly with high hopes. Many people who voted for these two groups were hoping for various privileges, employment and housing. Meanwhile, others cast their votes for Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and others in the hope of protecting this country without expecting anything from the government. The people who voted to live a free and secure life are now in talks with the National People’s Power.
The people who voted for the National Unity Front is also realizing that they have no plans. To prevent this country from going further into the dark hole, all those who love this country are joining the NPP. We emphasize that we are ready to move forward with these people at any time with any sacrifice. At the same time, we appeal to the youth not to leave this country. I invite you to join the National People’s Power to build this country. I urge you to make this your own task.”
Responding to questions raised by journalists…
“Traditional parties join hands on a platform to form a government and share positions and privileges. That is the activity of traditional alliances. However, the political parties of the National People’s Power are not just individuals but honest people who have a sincere sense of building this country. There are such a large number of people outside the National People’s Power. We will form an alliance only with these people. The NPP has no direct or indirect agreement or alliance with the two so-called main camps. We have built this centre as an accessible centre to anyone who accepts the political agenda of the National People’s Power, who is honest and who can make a sacrifice for the betterment of the country. That does not mean, coming into the house of the JVP. We can all come together, we are ready to bring together organizations and individuals who accept our goals. We do not have to hand over everything to the court. The court has a lot of work to do. The tradition of handing everything over to the court is not a good thing. The people of this country must accept everything. We believe that the issue of the Yugadanavi Agreement should be resolved within the people’s judiciary. The judiciary only examines whether it is in accordance with the Constitution. Beyond that, there are many economic and political conditions.”