Polls campaign SLPP embarrassed to use GL’s image – Dayasiri

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By 2018-01-03

BY Shaahidah Riza and Vickum Mahanama

Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) candidates are embarrassed to use their Party Chairman, Professor G.L. Pieris' image in their campaign and instead opt to use Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Parliamentarian Mahinda Rajapaksa's image, Co-Cabinet Spokesman and Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera said.

Addressing the media yesterday (2), he added that the SLPP is the only political party that does not use its Chairman's image in its campaign, contrary to the Election Commission Chairman's statement, which indicated that the respective party leader's image should be used for the related campaign. "Former Minister Basil Rajapaksa, who joined the SLPP, is responsible for reducing Prof. Peiris to a position of humiliation. We are not aware under what conditions they use Mahinda Rajapaksa's picture. We are not aware as to whether it was done with his consent. It is better to use Prof. Peiris' picture," he said.

However, in a missive to the Chairman of the Election Commission, dated 1 January, 2018, Mahinda Rajapaksa stated that he is aware that certain political parties and independent groups are using his image for campaign activities, in view of the forthcoming Local Government elections. However, he absolved himself of responsibility if those parties engage in illegal activities or behave in a manner that violates election laws.

Jayasekera added that the SLFP and the United People's Freedom Alliance, along with 30 other political parties, had kicked off their election campaign with a political rally on 29 December 2017, at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall.

According to him, this meeting had 25 per cent female representation which was the highest ever recorded in the history of politics. Minister Jayasekera also said that about 9,000 persons are engaged in these political campaigns which have been launched at the grassroot and village level. These campaigns are aimed at winning the Local Government authorities elections due to be held on 10 February, 2018.

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