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UNF vows to thwart fraud at April 8 poll

UNF Matara District Leader Sagala Ratnayake said the January 26 presidential election was rigged and there were numerous incidents of malpractices.

"It was not a free and fair election. We in the UNF will not permit it to be repeated again at the April 8 parliamentary polls. Steps have been taken to protect the franchise of the people. Vote for UNF to form a government to pull this country out of the mess it has fallen into," Ratnayake said at a series of campaign meetings held in the District over the weekend.

He said that all Sri Lankans were suffering today because of the UPFA government with President Mahinda Rajapaksa using Executive powers to crush Democracy. This should not be tolerated any further. This is a dictatorial regime that should be halted in there tracks and it is the voter who could achieve this on April 8, he said.

Ratnayake said that out of the four MPs who were elected in the Matara district from the UNP at the 2004 parliamentary elections, three joined the UPFA government for the sake of a portfolios and various other perks. They discarded not only the party, but also the people who voted for theme.

He said: "This is a disgrace. They tried to tempt me too with a cabinet portfolio. But I was not interested and could not be swayed.

They tried various ways to tempt me, and when they failed, they threatened me, slung mud at me with false allegations."

He said that he will never forget the voters who voted for him to enter Parliament, and although he was made a Minister by the UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, he was unable to fulfill his promises made at that time to the Matara voters because after two years, the UNP government was forced out of power.

Ratnayake said that he will never leave the UNP, which he joined to enter politics, from a top job he held at the HSBC and that he didn’t enter politics for any financial gain, but to serve the people.

"When we form the government after winning April 8 Parliamentary Elections, I assure the people of Matara, that I will fulfil all my promises made in 2004. The UNF government under Ranil Wickremesinghe, will usher in a prosperous country. We will solve all the problems faced by the people," said Sagala Ratnayake.

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