Presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa launches election manifesto
The New Democratic Front Presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa releasing his election manifesto today said his aim is to build a strong nation through a social revolution. The Presidential candidate launched the release of the New Democratic Front policy statement at the Queens Hotel in Kandy today after calling on the Mahanayakes of the Asgiriya and Malwatte Chapters.
The 80-page policy statement under the theme “A strong Nation, A Fair society” was launched in the presence of religious leaders of all faiths including Maha Sangha, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe and many Parliamentarians. The 20 manifesto is centered on three pillars namely establishing a strong country, creating a competitive economy, and also a just society.
Speaking at the occasion, Sajith Premadasa pledged he will protect the sovereignty of the people and the country under his rule. He said that Sri Lanka is a glorious country. It does not bow down to any powers. He emphasized that the country’s identity will be protected in his foreign policy.
The candidate recalling that he lost his father to terrorism said, a government under him will completely eliminate terrorism and extremism as well as drug menace in the country. Security for all religions and all races in the country will be ensured, he said adding that he will not leave any room for religious or racial extremism. Premadasa pledged that he will create a responsible, disciplined law abiding society in the country.
The 20-points of the manifesto:
1. Affordable prices and a high-quality life: Affordability of housing, education, healthcare, transportation and telecommunications, and improving wages Tor the private sector through high-quality jobs
2. Shelter for all: A home-owning society by 2025 and freehold land for permit holders
3. Universal pre-school for all: We will immediately extend tree education to pre-schools
4. Universal higher education: A university degree, a professional qualification, or vocational training for every school leaver
5. Universal healthcare: Free medicine, tests and care, with no hidden costs. A free medical check-up for all over 35 and increased benefits for pregnant mothers
6. Accountable leadership: A cabinet of ministers who are free of corruption and conflicts of interest. No relations will be given Government appointments
7. Zero tolerance on drugs and corruption: Swift legal proceedings and no parole or pardon for convicted drug traffickers
8. Zero tolerance on religious extremism and violence: Everyone will be free of fear in their homes and places of worship
9. Atoughand smart national security strategy: A National Security Council will be established by law, and the right people will be put in the right places
10. Dignity for the public sector: Scholarships for international exposure and legal assistance for public servants to defend their actions made in an official capacity
11. Government for the people: Documents, permits and licenses will be available online, or within a day
12. Financial markets: A new national development bank and a competitive tax regime to accelerate investments to Port City
13. Inspiring women: The Women’s Charter will be implemented, 25% minimum quotas will be introduced for Provincial Councils, Parliament and the National List whilst ensuring safe public transport for women
14. Empowering small businesses: All businesses with a monthly sale of less than 4 million rupees, will be exempted from paying VAT
15. Empowering the farmer: Free seed paddy and fertilizer through farmer cooperatives
16. Environment and energy: Environmentally- acceptable community-centered solutions for the human-elephant conflict, effective waste management, and a switch to 100% renewable energy by 2040
17. Encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation: A Rs. 10 Billion National Venture Capital Fund and a Rs. 10 Billion National Innovation Fund
18. A market-ready youth population: ‘Centers of Excellence’ at each Divisional Secretariat level to improve communication, language, technology and soft skills of the youth
19. Appreciation of migrant workers: Subsidized home loans, an increased duty-free allowance and legal assistance at embassies
20. Public transport: A multifaceted public transport policy through bus modernization, railway electrification, Light Rail Transit and a smart traffic management system [Colombo page Report]