United Republic Front leader Patali Champika Ranawaka said yesterday (01) that the country needs not a process that brings a group into power but a common political transformation.

Elaborating that political and economic elements have to work concurrently, he said that was the view expressed by Aragalaya protestors.

These remarks were made by Mr. Ranawaka while addressing the party’s second convention held at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium under the theme, ‘A step forward with unity for our nation’.

He said the party was ready to implement an action plan to convert the prevailing temporary stability of the country to a permanent and sustainable one.

Saving the country from bankruptcy, regaining its sovereignty, and turning the country into an open people’s republic were some of the key challenges the people faced, he said.

“There are some who give simple answers to the extremely complex issues of the country and mislead the people through their words to gain votes. We don’t have time to test and fail repeatedly, as the children of this country cannot wait for decades,” he said.

He said what prevails now is only a temporary solution to the economic problems, as foreign debt repayment has been postponed to 2028.

“Whatever government or whoever comes into power next should take the responsibility of paying back the postponed debt. We have not paid our foreign debt; that is why we are able to maintain a reserve of over 5 billion USD, but we cannot postpone the debt payment forever,” he added.

Before June 15, the Board of Directors of the International Monetary Fund is to meet; therefore, before that, Sri Lanka has to come to an agreement on how the debt is to be paid to obtain the next loan installment, he said.

Mr. Ranawaka said people should not be blinded by the prevailing temporary stability but rather follow a path that would bring permanent and sustainable stability.

He added that people can achieve this stability by following his party’s plan, which they publicised on February 14.

The former minister acknowledged that President Ranil Wickremesinghe had brought about temporary stability and said that the president had, however, heaped the burden on the innocent people who did not cause the crisis while acquitting the persons responsible.

Former Presidents Chandrika Kumartunga and Maithripala Sirisena, Education Minister Susil Premajayantha, State Minister of Transport Lasantha Alagiyawanna, SJB General Secretary Ranjith Madduma Bandara, and A.H.M. Fowzie were among those present.

(Sunday Times)

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