UNP enables leaders to emerge from common masses - Kabir
The UNP will resolve its internal problems in unity by arriving at a consensus through negotiation, UNP Chairman and Minister Kabir Hashim said yesterday.
Responding to questions by journalists at a press conference at his Ministry premises yesterday, the UNP Chairman stressed that the UNP would heed to the people’s call in selecting its Presidential candidate.
The UNP Chairman insisted that the UNP rallies being held in different parts of the country were organized by the party itself and that there was no wrong in taking part in them. “They are not organized by a faction of the party. Nobody can be called for disciplinary inquiries for taking part in them. These rallies do no harm but good for the party,” he said.
He added that he stands by his policies even though it may mean risking his posts. “There can be criticisms against me for taking stands, but I am not hurt by them. I have always acted in a righteous manner according to my conscience. Now various members express various opinions. Some have double standards. When you stand by for what is correct, you may even lose your positions. But I will never betray my policies,” he added.
He asserted that he had no dispute with Minister Lakshman Kiriella.
“The value of anything enhances when it is won after a struggle. We struggle, negotiate and will finally come to a consensus. The UNP is a party that paved the way for leaders to emerge from common masses. Former President, the late R Premadasa, was an example and it was the UNP that helped President Maithripala Sirisena, who is a son of a farmer, to come to power. We heed the people’s call,” he noted.
At the same time, Minister Hashim pointed out that nobody could even come close to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe when it comes to his wisdom, far-sighted vision and knowledge. “However, voting patterns in our country show that not all people vote at elections using their heads. We need to win the election to work for the country. Our attempt is to successfully form a government,” he remarked.
Questioned on the US backing to the UNP at the previous presidential election, Minister Hashim, while rejecting that claim, however questioned back where the allegiance of the US stands now. “The US has now got an opportunity to indirectly enter into the affairs of our country. We still don’t know whether the SLPP Candidate is a Sri Lankan citizen or a US citizen,” he replied.
Responding to another question over his Ministry, Hashim said President Sirisena told him of a proposal to change his ministerial portfolio, but that he did not agree to it.