PC polls: SF says DP can do better than UNP, JVP


By Shamindra Ferdinando 

Democratic Party (DP) leader Gen. Sarath Fonseka said yesterday that his party would fare better than the UNP at the forthcoming Provincial Council polls in the Central and North-Western Provinces.

The DP is also in the fray in the Northern Province comprising the electoral districts of Jaffna and Vanni.

Former army commander Gen. Fonseka said that those who had been disgruntled with the UNP as well as the JVP were backing his party. He was speaking to The Island from Kilinochchi before leaving for Puthukudirippu, the scene of some of the bloodiest battles fought by the army during Eelam War IV.

Recalling the circumstances under which the UNP, JVP and the TNA had declared him as the common Opposition candidate, at the last presidential polls in January 2010, Gen. Fonseka expressed confidence that his party would fare well at the Sept. 21 poll. Both, the UNP and the JVP, had been struggling in the wake of a spate of electoral defeats and therefore they no longer commanded the respect as well as the faith of the people, he said.

In fact, they had lost faith in themselves and were conducting a polls campaign for the sake of doing so.

Asked whether he was overrating his popularity as well as that of his recently registered party, the one-time Chief of Defence Staff said that the electorate was aware of the ground situation. "People have realized that the so-called Opposition political parties do not make a genuine effort. Voters resented both the government as well as those representing the Opposition in parliament. Many see the DP as the viable alternative."

Gen. Fonseka campaigned in Vavuniya and Mannar on Thursday before arriving in Kilinochchi yesterday.

Commenting on the situation in Jaffna, the Sinha Regiment veteran said that it would be in the interest of all that the military didn’t interfere in the election. The one-time Jaffna Security Forces Commander, during one of the most difficult periods for the security forces, said that he would address meetings in Jaffna, Point Pedro and Chavakachcheri today (07). Gen. Fonseka said that at the last presidential election many Northern Province voters had voted for him. "The Northerners were among over 4 million voters who exercised their franchise in support of me. Of course, I had the backing of the UNP, JVP as well as the TNA at that time. A vote for the DP is a vote for change," the war winning army chief said.

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