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PM thanks Kurunegala voters for resounding victory, says era of doing has begun

ELECTION FEVER – Crowds greet Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa as he arrives at a venue to speak in Kandy on Tuesday/PMD

ECONOMYNEXT – Thanking voters in Kurunegala for his overwhelming victory in Sri Lanka’s recently concluded parliamentary elections, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said the new government bears the responsibility of developing the entire nation.

“We anticipate the support of all of you irrespective of party differences for this development drive. The era of doing is upon us,” he said in a statement addressed to the people of Kurunegala.

A record 527,364 voters in the district cast their preference to Rajapaksa last Wednesday. The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), the party led by him, secured a historic two-thirds majority in the parliament, exceeding expectations in the run-up to the polls.

In his statement, the Prime Minister thanked fellow SLPP candidates who contested in the Kurunegala district, rally organisers and party supporters who ensured his victory.

“The 2020 election which resulted in a historic win was my ninth general election. When I first contested in the Kurunegala district, home to four ancient kingdoms, it was at a difficult and challenging time in my career. It is with gratitude that I note the faith you had me in 2015 which was reinforced this year,” he said.

The former president, who had been contesting all elections from the Hambantota district throughout his career, switched constituencies to Kurunegala in August 2015 for the first parliamentary election that was held since his surprising defeat at the January 2015 presidential polls.

“We have been mindful of the problems facing the people of the Kurunegala district over the recent past. The government headed by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and I will work towards resolving these issues without confining them to election promises,” said Rajapaksa. However, he made no reference to the ongoing controversy surrounding the allegedly illegal demolition of an an archaeological site purportedly dating back to the days of King Buwanekabahu II. A prominent SLPP member in the district, former minister Johnston Fernando, vowed in a campaign speech last month to not allow any action to be taken against the Kurunegala mayor who stands accused of the demolition.

“I have been entrusted with an extremely serious task. The responsibility of building a developed and peaceful nation. as expected not just by Kurunegala voters but all Sri Lankans, is before us,” said Rajapaksa.

“I vow to work towards developing and safeguarding this country as per the ‘Saubhagyaye Dekma’ (Vistas of Prosperity
and Splendour) manifesto of President Rajapaksa,” he added. (Colombo/Aug11/2020)

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