The only political party that could gain new victories at the Uva Provincial Council election is the JVP as the JVP has made all plans to take the country towards a new direction that would bring victory to the masses and take them forward says the General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva adding that whether the Commissioner of Elections requests or not the JVP would always engage in politics with responsibility and aiming at victory for the masses.
Speaking at a media conference held at the head office of the JVP at Pelawatta today (1st) the General Secretary of the JVP said, “After the nominations for the Uva PC elections are handed over on the 5th of August the JVP will not hold any motorcades or propaganda that would use public address systems. We expect other political parties, specially those in the ruling UPFA would follow our example. Even when there are good laws the government violates them. We would watch what the government that violates rules and regulations at every election would do this time. We hope it would follow the rules at least on the 6th. We have already finalized nominations for our party for Badulla and Monaragala districts. I, as the General Secretary and comrades Lal Kantha and Vijitha Herath were in the nominations committee. We have selected the Member of the Central Committee of our party Comrade Samantha Vidyaratna as the leader of the Badulla District and provincial leader of our party. We have also included the Member of the Central Committee and the President of All Ceylon Estate Workers Union Comrade Ramalingam Chandrasekar, Comrade Sudath Balagalla and 21 others in the nomination list for Badulla District.
A strong team of 17 headed by former Member of Provincial Council R.M. Jayawardene has been selected for Monaragala District. We have given nominations for teachers, trade union leaders, leaders of farmer associations and several in state and estate sectors who have and are serving the public. There are no criminals, bar owners or night club clients in our teams. We have already commenced our propaganda programmes and have completed 150 meetings in Badulla District and 100 meetings in Monragala District. We have met people, identified their issues and have had discussions with them. We have a target to conduct at least 500 small meetings in these areas after the nominations are handed over on the 6th. There will be 300 meetings in Badulla District and 200 in Monaragala District. In addition we will hold 30 main rallies in Badulla District and 20 in Monaragala district. We will also carry out our usual house to house campaign and would engage in all propaganda, specially alternative media campaigns, the election law would allow us. We would carry out our campaigns without being an obstruction for the students who would sit the A/L exam.
People in the province where the election is held are confronted with several special issues. People are used to drought but this time they find it difficult to get drinking water.
The issue of drinking water in Badulla and Monaragala districts has become an acute issue. The issues of not only drinking water but water for cultivation have become a serious problem in Wellawaya, Thanamalwila and Monaragala areas. The drought is not a strange occurrence for these areas. Normally, it is the responsibility of the government to find solutions for issues. However, an adequate and permanent solution for the water issue of the people in the dry zone has not been found during the 9 year tenure of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. There is money to waste Rs.60000 to 70000 million for ‘Dayata Kirula’. There is money to build airports where no aircrafts land or take off and ports where no ships anchor. But there is no money to solve the water issue of people who contribute to strengthen the economy or to solve the issue of drinking water in these areas. The government is making use of people’s misfortune for its political advantage. Today, ministers and MPs of the government, making use of the water shortage issue, have established various ‘foundations’ in their names and distribute water in bowsers with their names to distribute water. During the election campaign while distributing various goods to people to get their votes the newest item that is distributed to fish for votes is water. We believe taking advantage of the people’s misery is not ethical. What does the government do to water issue in areas where the election is not held? The government states it would give drought relief. It’s a deception. Only Rs.17,000,000 is allocated for 32 grama sevaka divisions in Polonnaruwa. Each grama sevaka division receives only about Rs.532,000. There are about 500 families in each division. A family that is battered by the drought receives only about Rs.1000 a month. Is it a relief for people who are thoroughly shattered by the drought? The Grama sevakas have been instructed to use various factors to to keep the relief at a minimum level. The recipients have also asked to take part voluntarily in various public projects.
The government is also taking advantage of the fresh water crisis to lay foundation stones for water projects targeting the PC election. The government could have completed the water projects and they go for elections. Instead, the government uses the water issue to plunder votes. The poorest secretariat division is in Uva Province. It is Siyambalanduwa division. Next is Rideemaliyadda and the next is Kandekatiya. The situation in the estate sector is more serious. Children’s education has broken down and child mortality rate is high. The highest number of mothers with anaemia and other issues is in the estates. The rate of maternal mortality has gone up. These people who contribute to the economy of the country in a big way has not benefitted by the so-called development. The rulers have failed to fulfill the basic needs of these people.
According to the report issued by the Ministry of Finance annually the highest number of the poor live in Uva province. The rate is higher than in the North where a war raged for 30 years.
In such a situation the chance of the government to win the election is very remote. As such, the government is using its power to get votes using money, force and by violating rules. There is an attempt to bribe voters. However, people’s issues cannot be buried by bribes given during elections. The government has no answer to issues of farmers in Uva Paranagama and Welimada areas. They engage in their cultivations and attempt to contribute their share to the economy. However, the whole area is drowned in poverty. Not that the area is lacking in resources. There had been 100,000 paddy fields in Wellassa in the past. Pelawatta and Sevanagala are ideal for sugar cane cultivation and there are two factories. Welimada is famous for potatoes and flowers. Who has made these lands places where the most number of poor live?
As such, this election won’t be easy for the government. Despite President’s nephew is the chief minister, he and those around him would not understand the issues of the people. The government has started disintegrating. The first sign of this disintegration of the government was shown by the people in the Western and Southern provinces. Until then they played an election game. When Uva PC election is held the braking down of the government has intensified. People’s disapproval and opposition has increased. There is an attempt to use force and money to get votes. The people are battered by the common issues confronted by the people in other areas. The increase in postal fares would be added to their woes. The conditions put forward by parties in the UPFA and the attempt of some of these parties to go solo in the election is an instance of internal conflicts of the government coming to the surface. Today, no one engages in the election campaign of the UPFA except the Rajapaksas and those around them. Meanwhile, Mr. Bandula Yalegama says the government has no intelligence when it is in power. Seeing that the government is losing power, various gimmicks are carried out to maintain it further. Those who protected Rajapaksas have now started looking after themselves. In such an environment only the JVP could achieve new victories at the Uva PC election.
JVP has made all plans to take the country towards a new direction that would bring victory to the masses and take them forward and whether the Commissioner of Elections requests or not the JVP would always engage in politics with responsibility and aiming at victory for the masses.”
Responding to a question raised by a journalist Mr. Tilvin Silva said, “The government will have an advantage only if all the parties in the UPFA unite. When the parties in the UPFA go in different directions the people know that the government is breaking down. We do not believe that there are conspiracies against the government. This is the destiny of the government. Throughout history these type of alliances have faced the same destiny. The LSSP left in 1975 from the UF government formed in 1970. In 1976 the Communist Party left. Later, the UNP ruled the country for 17 years and in latter stages there were conflicts. There were such breakdowns during the final stages of Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga’s government. It was responsible for the defeat in 2001 December.
Whenever governments formed by alliances are about to fall the parties that form the alliance make us of some excuse to jump out of such alliances and try to find their existence. There are some who try to stop the ship from toppling and others are looking to jump to another ship. It is such a situation the UPFA is confronted with at present. The election for Uva is decisive for the government. The government would decide regarding future elections on this result.”
The Member of the Central Committee of the JVP and Member of Western PC Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa too was present.