First of all, I congratulate the newly elected president. May his duties be performed well for the sake of the country and its people. A critical opposition shows signs of emerging in this parliament now. This election result shows a determination and a desire to intervene actively in that direction. We are ready to accept that challenge.
These candidates are an interesting combination. Leader of the SJB proposed the Treasurer of SLPP. It was seconded by Hon MP G.L. Pieris and therefore, it is generally called as the Chairman’s team of SLPP. The leader of the UNP was proposed by Hon MP Dinesh Gunawardena, who is Ranil Wickramasinghe’s school friend and comes from an old left-wing family. It is called as the Secretary’s team of SLPP. We know that the secretary is haunted by a ghost. This is politics.
The election was between these two camps. I competed based on our unique values. I do not consider this to be an unexpected result that would surprise me. This is the nature of the composition of the Parliament of our country today. What really exists in society today is not the composition shown in these numbers. If anyone thinks that a reflection of the fair will of the people has appeared in this Parliament, it is a complete myth. This parliament reflects a distortion of the will of the people. A big contradiction has been created between the people outside and this chamber. So I do not expect anything more from this parliament.
As soon as this situation arose, we met all the political groups. It was suggested that we choose two people who are not involved in the upcoming political power project for the posts of President and Prime Minister. The name of the Speaker was also suggested. For the post of Prime Minister, the name of Hon MP Sumanthiran was suggested. In a crisis like this, it could have signalled a great example for our country. I must also mention that the Hon MP Rauff Hakeem, suggested that these two positions be given to two women representing this Parliament. Except in a crisis like this, it is not possible to create such exemplary and transformative opportunities. If these positions could have been given to a MP who had no future political ambition and a MP who represents the North, think how much respect and trust in this Parliament could be built within the country? As suggested by Hon MP Rauff Hakeem, if two women could have been appointed for these two positions, we were fully in favor of it. What an example would it have been for this country? We declared that we are ready to accept ministerial posts and responsibilities in such a government.
Also, there was a condition that the interim government should be valid only for a short period of time. Why did we make such a proposal? What has happened to the country today? The country has faced a major disaster. People die in queues. There is a crisis of lack of milk powder for children. The farmers are looking at the field and lamenting. Fishermen live anxiously watching the boats. The young generation is hopeless about the future. People are worried about what will happen to their children’s education. In such a situation, a great opportunity arose for the Parliament to administer the country for a short period of time through giving the two top positions to two persons who signal a willingness to transform existing politics and also a joint cabinet.
There were two points in our proposal. If that proposal became a reality, we were of the viewthat the cabinet should be limited to ten ministerial positions. Hon MP Sumanthiran had prepared those ten ministerial posts. Also, there was a suggestion that the period should be limited. That proposal with these basic points was defeated. We attempted to generate results, transformative examples, and interventions in the face of this situation, but that effort has now failed. After that, I presented myself as a candidate based on our policies, identity, and our campaign. I knew that this would be the result. It is not surprising at all. Many controversial events have taken place in this chamber. The TNA announced their support to Hon MP Dallas Alahapperuma. And it was announced that there are ten parties in that group. It was stated that there is another group that is independent. It was announced that the SLFP is also there. SJB also announced their spport. Looking at it, I think that the number of teams can exceed 113.
But have those members and groups remained with thosedecision? Are those decisions not only based on policy? I believe that those decisions are not based only on policy matters. At the most critical moments in the history of this parliament, during the 18th Amendment, during the 52-day coup, when the 20th Amendment was adopted, there is a history of MPs being sold here and there. Members of Parliament are sold like teak trees in villages. I think this time too it is the same. Someone can say no. I accept that too. (Interruptions) This is my opinion. I know you will be furious. If this fact is not said here, where can it be said? There is no point in going to a village and saying this at a crossroad. This should be said in front of these people. This is a parliament where such indecency has become the norm. The history of this parliament is such. This parliament is full of such indecent people. I do not believe that the reflection of that indecency did not influence this election.
I mark that because I accept it as a fact that should be recorded in history. Anyone who wants, can reject my idea. But I do not reject it. This parliament is no longer a fair reflection of the will of the people. In this parliament there is a distorted reflection of the will of the people. Therefore, I do not believe that any type of government formed in this parliament will have the legitimacy to rule the country for a long time. I will stop, reiterating our position that a new people’s mandate should be given a chance very soon.