|Minister of Constitutional Affairs and National
Integration DEW Gunasekara said the Presidential race is
between a layman who has forty years experience and a
soldier who has forty years experience. Gunasekara who is
also the Communist Party Leader is of the opinion that the
western powers are attempting their best to change the
political leadership of our country
Q: The country at
the moment is put on an election footing and for the first
time in history a military bigwig has challenged his
Commander-in-Chief for the highest post in the country. How
do you see this situation? Do you think this trend is good?
A: In short, this introduction of a new element into our
spectrum of politics will lead not only militarisation of
politics but politicalisation the military as well-- a
tendency. It’s my perception and my conviction that people
will not permit this trend to operate. My personal view,
even though I am a member of the Cabinet, is that I did not
appreciate much of the very introduction of military people
into the provincial council election. Of course those were
either retired or disabled.
the call for the Presidential election January 26
next year, all major political parties have now
begun to field candidates of their choice to run for
the Presidency. However, none has raised more
speculation and controversy than the opposition’s
common candidate. For the first time in history, the
main opposition United National Party (UNP) and the
left-aligned Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) have
found common ground in their choice of Presidential
candidate. In an interview with The Nation, UNP
Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya explained what led to
their decision to back Gen. Sarath Fonseka in the
election and bury the hatchet with the JVP.
Q: What are the key points in the UNF’s campaign
strategy for the upcoming Presidential election?
A: The UNF, having put forward a common
candidate to contest this election will focus on several key
elements during this campaign.
Q: You have always spoken out without fear or
favour in the country’s interest, irrespective of
whatever party is in power. How do you read the
A: Today, I think the country is in a terrible
situation, because, for one thing, the nationalist forces
are split, and you find various minority parties now
starting an auction for favours of both sides, and there
seems to be a succumbing to it by even Gen. Fonseka and
President Rajapaksa. Now, Sivanesaturai Chandrakanthan alias
‘Pillaiyan’ came and said he wanted something over and above
the 13th Amendment, then another said the same thing. Both
of them said that after Fonseka’s press conference, where he
said he will give something more than the 13th Amendment.
Funniest part is that Fonseka does not know what is in the
13th Amendment, for he has said he will study the 13th
Amendment after he is elected.