In what appeared to be a major political strategy, the United National Party (UNP) today decided to support SLFP General Secretary and Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena as the common candidate for the upcoming presidential election.
15.10: Ministers Maithripala Sirisena and Rajitha Senaratne just arrived to the New Town Hall.
15.14: Former President Chandriak Kumaratunga and Duminda Dissanayake also arrived
15.20 Begins speech by reciting verses of the Dhamma pada . Minister Sirisena says he was the longest serving general sec of the SLFP
Being with the SLFP for 47 years and 13 years served as the General Secretary
We have come to an agreement with all the political parties.
I thank the UNP for appointing me as the common candidate.
I thank Ranil Wickremesing for selecting SLFP General Secretary as the common candidate.
Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike played a major role in defeating terrorism.
I thank President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Security forces for winning the war.
18th amendment was a major blow to the democracy of the country.
Police activities, Law and order have being challenged today.I never thought the UNP or other parties would select me as the common candidate. I couldn’t even impose pictorial warnings on cigarette packets though I’m the Health Minister. Vote for me at the upcoming election. I will abolish the executive presidency within 100 days. We should develop the economy of estate sector and private employees.We should develop the economy of estate sector and private employees. I request Navy, Army and Police to make provisions for a free and fair election. I will protect everyone.There is no media freedom in the country today. The truth has being suppressed. I will endure media freedom.
The 13th amendment will be abolished, will also change the current electoral system.
I will appoint Ranil Wickremesinghe as the Prime Minister.
My family was fully supportive and backed me on this decision.
I will look after of helpless people
Ends the speech
Minister Rajitha Senaratne
This is the happiest day of my political life.
This decision is not against the President but against his rule.
The war was started by the Executive Presidency.