A Democratic government or a parliament will not allow the country to be unrest by irresponsible statements... - Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena

The Presidential election will be held according to the constitution.

Any political decision will not be taken depending on crowds. We will not be panicked or reversed. Will move on...

The Prime Minister made these comments while attending the opening of the Martin Wickramasinghe Hall of Life section at the National Library and Documentation Services Board today (29.05.2024).

The Prime Minister at the event commented that -

"Today is a special day, our great author Martin Wickramasinghe made a renaissance to the pride of our country’s literature as well as to language and social science. At the time of handing over the literary works in the collection of Martin Wickramasinghe to the National Library so that every citizen of our country can see them with their own eyes, we remember with respect our great author who built that wealth of treasures. The National Library will henceforth shoulder the process of preparing this wealth of objects in such a way that it can be used by everyone in the country.

It is extremely important that it has been protected by the family of Mr. Martin Wickramasinghe, who was the pride of our country and the nation, and handed it over to the nation today so that it can be converted to the benefit of the next generation and we express our gratitude in that regard. We hope that the National Library will do more than family to protect this wealth. Mr. Martin Wickramasinghe is an incomparable literary scholar who is recognized not only nationally but also internationally. He has gained immense respect in the countries where the literary centers of the world prevail. This opportunity today is important for our countrymen as well as for the international community.

The Prime Minister responded to the questions raised by the journalists.

What is the government’s stand on the election in the current situation?

The government’s stand on the election has already been announced. The Election Commission declared that the presidential election can be held according to the constitution. They have announced that it will be scheduled between the months of September and October. The government has also announced that.

There is an allegation that the government is trying to postpone the election after seeing the crowd on May Day, isn’t it?

No political decision will be taken after seeing a crowd. We will not be panicked or reversed, but will move forward.

From the night when Democracy was destroyed, we took steps to restore Democracy. The people who tried to destroy the parliament were driven away and an all-party government was formed in the country. Don’t forget that. It was not only Democracy that was built. Steps have been taken according to the accepted election law for the development of the country by advancing the supreme parliamentary system and the people’s mandate. There is a two-thirds system that is very difficult to be followed to change the election rules. Otherwise, the parliament can go on until next August. If necessary it can be dissolved earlier. Or they can dissolve it by themselves. There is a system in the constitution to do so. After the Presidential election, it will be the general election. Later, attention has been paid on holding provincial council and local government elections at the same time.

Some people declare various things without responsibility. I am telling the countrymen that a Democratic government or parliament will not allow the government to make sudden announcements about something that has not been discussed in any situation and to create unrest in the country irresponsibly.

Is the power to call elections vested with the government? or the Election Commission?

The Election Commission has the power to call the Presidential election, according to the Constitution. It cannot be called in advance or later. It has been fixed in the constitution. Accordingly, the Election Commission will conduct the election as scheduled.

The President has the ability to dissolve the parliament, right?

Presidents had the mandate to dissolve parliament before. We have seen cases where Presidents who had lost their own governments by dissolving their governments thinking they could win. The party also had to go to the opposition. There are many examples of that. After two and a half years of a new parliament, the President has the power to dissolve it.

In the midst of challenges, our parliament is moving with great patience. There are also differences of opinion, of course. If the parliament can no longer be functioned, the President can dissolve the parliament. If a resolution is passed by the parliament, the President can also dissolve it. Otherwise, the term will end in August next year.

A group including State Ministers Sisira Jayakody, Ashoka Priyantha, MP Yadamini Gunawardena, Chairman of the National Library and Documentation Services Board Professor Nanda Dharmaratne, Director General of the National Library and Documentation Services Board W. Sunil, former State Minister Geetanjana Gunawardena, Prof. J.B. Dissanayake, Prof. Jayadeva Uyangoda, Prof. Padmalal N. Manage participated in this event.

Prime Minister’s Media