The Jathika Hela Urumaya’s (JHU) stand regarding how it will contest the August 17 General Election will be revealed by Monday (July 6), the party’s General Secretary, Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka told The Nation.

When contacted regarding the JHU’s plans on contesting the election, Minister Ranawaka stated discussions were still ongoing regarding whether the party would contest alone or as part of a wider front. However, he confirmed a final decision would be made by Monday.

Ranawaka also said the party had been approached by various groups on the need to form a united front against former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. “He (Rajapaksa) is the same person who was defeated on January 8. His policies haven’t changed,” Ranawaka claimed.

The JHU meanwhile, had prepared a six-point document that would serve as a policy document regarding the party’s vision for the country. According to the document, priority would be given towards key areas including food security, research and development, self-sufficiency in fuel, moving towards clean energy by 2030, introducing a ‘smart city concept’ for Colombo and other cities, protecting bio diversity and creating an equitable environment between humans and the environment as well as working towards an innovation led knowledge based economy.

“We have to build up self-sustenance in food security. This means building up a productive workforce, rather than just cultivating more lands for farming. Research and development needs to improve as well. Currently, even most of our Ayurvedic medicines are manufactured in India. That needs to change. There is already work being undertaken in the Mannar basin regarding oil drilling. However, more needs to be done towards ensuring fuel self-sufficiency. But our goal should be to move towards clean energy by 2030. We will be pushing these and other goals related to this six-point document at the election,” the minister noted.