NPP will re-build party and make a comeback - Anura Kumara Dissanayake | Sunday Observer

NPP will re-build party and make a comeback - Anura Kumara Dissanayake

9 August, 2020

The National People’s Power (NPP) led by the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) suffered a heavy setback at the recently concluded General Election. Despite the party coming forward to contest as a front that comprised a number of groups this time around it lost half of its seats in Parliament. The NPP secured only two seats through votes and another through the National List. According to its leader, Anura Kumara Dissanayake, the party admits it has suffered a setback. In an interview with the Sunday Observer this week Dissanayake shared his thoughts about the elections and the party’s way forward.

Q. What is the cause for the NPP’s set back at the General Election?

A: There is no drastic drop in the number of votes since the 2015 election. However, we admit there has been a set back. I believe the tide moving in one direction within the Sri Lankan society is partly to blame. The ideology of the Opposition becoming weak may have also resulted in the recent set back. It also must be noted that in the last five years a large number of allegations have been levelled against us by our opponents while they have also created fallacies about our party which we have not been able to dispel at the ground level. This holds true, especially, in the country’s rural areas. There are scores of people who are paying attention to us and what we say but they have not been converted to voters yet. Our setback is a result of all these issues.

Q. What are the NPP’s plans to recover from this setback and will you continue contesting as the NPP or revert to the JVP?

A: Going forward we will change the party structure . We will also go back to the villages and reach out to the people. The NPP will build this party and make a comeback because the NPP has an aim. That is to save this country from destruction and its people from further oppression. Our vision is to develop this country, give its benefits to the people and give them the freedoms they deserve. We will continue to strive for this.

Q. Some are claiming that your leadership is weak and was also a cause for the setback. Will there be a change in the leadership?

A: I think that question can be better answered by another party member.

Q. Why do you think people were moved to vote for the Sri Lanka Podhujana Permuna in such large numbers?

A: The SLPP has a particular line that they take which was reinforced by the anarchy that reigned in this country during the last five years. If you take the SLPP result, the truth is that Ranil Wickremesinghe’s government’s failure was the major contributor.

To the people who are severely oppressed, they seem to think that they may perhaps be released from the oppression if they hand over a majority power to any single party or faction.

They believe their problems will be resolved if they create a powerful government.

The President and the Prime Minister will now have to deliver on the promises made as not having a majority is no longer an excuse they can give.

Q.What is your take on the United National Party’s dismal performance in the recent election?

A: I think the UNP’s time has ended. Sirikotha has been reduced to just another building.

The issue now between Sajith Premadasa and Ranil Wickremesinghe today is more about how to divide a property rather than power. UNP has no political future.

Q. Who will be appointed through the NPP’s National List to the one seat the NPP obtained?

A: It will be decided following a discussion between the party members. We already have a particular order in the list and the person will be decided accordingly.

Q. Will the NPP be able to carry out its opposition duties with just three seats though?

A: During 2010 - 2015 the JVP had only three seats. Even then we carried out our duties as the Opposition.

Though we expected to obtain more seats, this number is enough to carry out our role in the House. The role of the Opposition can even be carried out outside the Parliament premises. But undoubtedly having lesser seats will make it difficult for the NPP to gain public attention.