SF vows to punish thieves of public funds


By Harischandra Gunaratna

Leader of the Democratic Party Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka yesterday said the elimination of corruption was a prerequisite for poverty alleviation.

The former army commander addressing the constituents of Borella said that he was happy that a number of politicians albeit at a late stage had realised the need to bring about a new political culture if the country was to forge ahead and achieve its developmental goals.

"The Democratic Party has taken a decision to go it alone at the next general election," he said.

The DP was confident of obtaining at least three seats in Colombo and several more in other areas, he said.

The Field Marshal said that at the Presidential election the Democratic Party had polled 98,000 votes in Colombo and at the next general election it would be increased to more than 150,000.

The people had mistakenly backed the wrong politicians who ruined the country, he said.

"That led the Rajapaksas to believe that the masses had given them a mandate to rob the country to the tune of billions of rupees and their greed for public funds was such that even after former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was defeated at the Jan. 8 Presidential election, he is trying to become the Prime Minister. He is only daydreaming."

Fonseka said that the country was heading for a dictatorship under the Rajapaksas and if Maithripala Sirisena had not come forward to challenge Rajapaksa the fate of the country and its people would have been different.

"We cannot allow one family to rule the country and plunge it into anarchy. They have built airports and ports which are non-operational increasing the national debt in the process.

"After I was released from jail I resolved to do everything in my power to send Mahinda Rajapaksa home in 2015 with the support of the masses and some politicians and it was done."

A powerful top bureaucrat in the previous government had grabbed the lands of the poor people in Colombo on the pretext of beautifying the city. He acquired 120 perches of prime land where hundreds of families lived, built high rise tenements for them utilising only 30 perches and grabbed the remaining land for his own use or for commercial purposes through devious methods, Fonseka alleged, adding that all those corrupt deals were coming to light and the wrongdoers would be punished.

"I gave am assurance to the people of this country that I would defeat terrorism during my tenure as army commander and I made good my promise."

Similarly, I will work towards the restoration of law and order and ensure that all those responsible for corrupt deals will be punished according to the law of this country and they will not be allowed to go scot free," Fonseka said.

He assured the low income earners of Colombo that his party would redress their grievances and help uplift their living conditions.

Among the other speakers were Democratic Party Borella Chief Organiser Priyanka Jayasekara, Kolonnawa Chief Organiser Susil Kindelpitiya, Capt. Gayan Witharana and several others.

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