Aravinda’s utterances reflect SLPP’s stance against minorities - Minister
The remarks against the Muslim community made during a meeting by Pivithuru Hela Urumaya Assistant Leader Madumadava Aravinda is a reflection of the party’s greater stance on minorities, Minister Ravindra Samaraweera has charged.
Labour & Trade Union Relations Minister Samaraweera told a news media briefing at the New Democratic Front (NDF) operations centre at Vauxhall Street, Colombo, yesterday that voters should not to be deceived by attempts made by the Pivithuru Hela Urumaya party to distance themselves from Aravinda.
“Even if he resigns, everything else will stay the same. It will be the same people, with the same manifestos.The resignation was merely an eyewash,” he said.
He added that during the last few days, rumours have been rampant that another attack on churches was imminent and that the country’s national defences were vulnerable. He cautioned the public not to give into the fear psychosis adding that feeding to such propaganda will only benefit those who are trying to seek political gain.
Trincomalee District UNP MP Imran Maharoof said that the entry of M.L.A.M Hisbullah to the presidential election was a ploy to disrupt the UNP votes. “Hisbullah is well aware that no Muslim or Tamil can ever be the President of Sri Lanka. Yet he is joining the fray in an attempt to dissuade voters from casting their votes for the UNP,” he said.
He added that the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) whose presidential candidate is former Defence Ministry Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa had resorted to racist campaigns in order to swing nationalist votes in their favour. He referred to the video clip of Madumadawa Aravinda which has gone viral on social media as being indicative of the party’s overall campaign against Muslims.
“We are well aware that although this rhetoric may be propaganda now, it will certainly be the reality once elected. This is what they are preparing for,” he alleged.
Referring to the NDF’s presidential candidate, Sajith Premadasa, Maharoof said Sajith though young in age, was a seasoned politician, who understands the nuances of politics as well as the pulse of the people. “He maybe young at age, but his political career and the legacy spans decades,” he said.
State Education Minister Wijayakala Maheswaran said she was confident the Tamils in the North and East would certainly cast their votes for the NDF candidate Sajith Premadasa. Elaborating on the work undertaken by Sajith Premadasa in the Northern and Eastern provinces, Maheswaran added that Tamils in those areas hold him in high regard for the development and charitable work he had done for the people there.She said Sajith Premadasa was someone who moved among the masses and understood the issues faced by people in those areas.