President Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday (10) said the government has launched a revolution with relief for the people and these efforts will be intensified in the future despite challenges.

The President emphasized that the current era and challenges faced by the country demands everyone to work in unity to rebuild the country sans narrow politics.

Speaking at the inaugural public rally of the United National Party at the Kuliyapitiya Municipal Council Stadium, the President emphasized the importance of collective action for national progress.

Themed “Reality,” the series of public gatherings drew a substantial crowd for its debut event in Kuliyapitiya.

Marking his first public address at a UNP rally since assuming office, President Wickremesinghe received a warm reception from the large gathering.

The President asserting that the foundational principles of the United National Party are absent in the Samagi Jana Balawegaya, appealed to former United National Party members who joined the SJB to unite back with UNP for safeguarding the nation from indebtedness and contribute to constructing a secure future for generations to come.

Expressing gratitude to supporters across party lines since assuming the presidency, President Ranil Wickremesinghe stressed the necessity of collaborative efforts for national development, transcending narrow political interests.

Highlighting the government’s efforts to provide relief amidst challenging circumstances, the President underscored the United National Party’s commitment to truth and progress, asserting its unparalleled vision for nation-building.

Recalling the United National Party’s policy statement during the 2020 elections, which addressed the country’s economic challenges, President Ranil Wickremesinghe reaffirmed the party’s dedication to addressing critical issues and presented a video outlining key points.

He went on to say “We are poised to emerge from the brink of bankruptcy sooner than anticipated. Negotiations with the International Monetary Fund and other official creditors are underway, with the aim of finalizing agreements by May or June. This milestone will usher in a new era of opportunities as we transition to a solvent nation.

Throughout this journey, we have prioritized alleviating the burdens of our people. Government employees will receive a substantial salary increase, with additional benefits slated for the upcoming Sinhala and Tamil New Year. Furthermore, initiatives such as the Senasuma programme aim to provide economic security to millions.

Land rights are being granted to those holding permits, while permanent rights are secured for residents of 50,000 flats in Colombo.

Despite challenges, we remain steadfast in our resolve to provide relief. The modernization of agriculture is paramount to our economic agenda, with plans to transform the sector over the next decade.

Additionally, measures to combat corruption have been instituted, underscoring our dedication to accountability.

Legislative reforms, including the Women’s Empowerment Bill and the Gender Equality Bill, are underway to promote gender equity.

Amendments to laws addressing fiscal responsibility and violence against women reflect our commitment to progress.

Furthermore, the establishment of dedicated units for women and children in every police station underscores our commitment to safeguarding vulnerable populations.

These efforts are integral to the advancement of our nation’s citizens. Our politics must not be confined by narrow interests; rather, we must unite in our efforts to advance our nation.

Despite divisions during the 2020 parliamentary elections, I remained steadfast in our commitment to truth and progress as the United National Party. Despite opposition and skepticism, I maintained that with a strategic approach, we could swiftly form a government. Today, I reiterate that there is only one party—the United National Party—united in its pursuit of economic advancement, as envisioned by D.S. Senanayake and J.R. Jayewardene.

I recall the manifesto’s declaration, highlighting the stark economic challenges we face, including significant loss of foreign income and mounting debt obligations. In confronting these realities, we must seek international support to rejuvenate our economy, a path I am committed to despite its challenges.

While others may promise the world, we remain steadfast in our commitment to truth and pragmatic progress. The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna’s proposal for an independent institution to guide economic revival reflects a shared goal of sustainable growth. We acknowledge their vision, recognizing the importance of strategic planning and collaboration in navigating our economic future.

In 2021, they announced plans to increase foreign exchange reserves over the next five years, a proposal made amidst a dire shortage of foreign currency. However, little consideration was given to the practicalities of such a plan, akin to devising a recipe without considering the availability of ingredients.

Amidst the economic downturn, it became evident that recovery required comprehensive planning, a task championed solely by the United National Party. Recognizing the gravity of the situation, I engaged with the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, seeking their assistance. Regrettably, bureaucratic hurdles hindered progress.

The events of May 9th saw Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa’s resignation, with neither Sajith Premadasa nor Anura Dissanayake willing to assume the role amidst public unrest. Understandably, assuming leadership in such tumultuous times was untenable.

I vividly recall attending a wedding at the Shangri-La Hotel while protests raged outside. Despite being inside, no one approached me to leave—an affirmation of our commitment to transparency. Subsequently, discussions with backbench MPs and the President led to my appointment as Prime Minister, a responsibility no one else was willing to accept.

As Finance Minister, I engaged with the International Monetary Fund to secure support, amidst mounting challenges. The events of July 9th, whether directly or indirectly, precipitated the former president’s departure and my assumption of greater responsibilities.

Despite facing adversity, our commitment to the United National Party’s principles remained unwavering. I accepted the responsibility entrusted to me, regardless of the risks. Ultimately, I was sworn in as Acting President, not in a government building, but at the Walukaramaya Temple, affirming our commitment to truth and integrity.

Contemplating an election, I envisioned unwavering support from within the United National Party, believing it possible to form a cohesive government and forge ahead. However, many opted not to join our ranks, subsequently securing positions in ministries. I extend a warm welcome back to Manusha and Harin.

Dissenting voices arose, with Dallas Alahapperuma and G.L. Peiris allegedly objecting to a United National Party member assuming the presidency. Sajith Premadasa and the SJB echoed these sentiments, asserting that the presidency should not be handed to the United National Party. Appealing to all for assistance in navigating the economic crisis, I sought counsel from Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa, who acknowledged my role as the primary liaison with the International Monetary Fund.

Inconsistencies emerged regarding Mahinda Rajapaksa’s health and affiliations, further complicating matters within the political landscape.

My efforts to foster dialogue on loan transactions were met with resistance, with some advising against cooperation. Undeterred, I remain committed to my stance, refusing to engage in discussions that deviate from our principles.

United National Party members find themselves marginalized within the Samagi Jana Balawegaya, raising concerns about the party’s direction and inclusivity. It is evident that the party has veered away from the principles upheld by the United National Party. To those who did not support us in the past, I extend an invitation to join forces in safeguarding our nation from debt and laying the groundwork for a brighter future”.      


UNP kiliyapitiya

Chief of Staff of the President Sagala Ratnayake, UNP Chairman MP Wajira Abeywardena, Deputy Leader Ruwan Wijewardene, General Secretary Palitha Range Bandara, former UNP MPs Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, Daya Gamage, Ravi Karunanayake, P. Harrison and many other public representatives of the party were present on this occasion.

President Wickremesinghe was seen engaging in cordial discussions with the crowd following the successful rally.



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