(Pics by Chandana Wijesinghe)

Parties readying themselves for the upcoming General Election have released or are in the days to come to release their policy documents.

The UNP’s manifesto was released under the newly-formed United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG), and it contains five major areas which they have categorized as (a) Economic Growth and Development; (b) Eradicating Corruption; (c) Ensuring Freedom for the Individual; (d) Infrastructure and Investment; and (e) Education.    The UNP’s policy document affirms an alternative to both socialist and free-market policies, being led by principles of a social market economy. It envisions a more export-oriented approach to growth, seeks to empower farmers by encouraging private enterprise, plans on building several economic development zones, promises electoral and constitutional reforms, forwards policies to encourage multiculturalism, seeks to allocate a higher proportion of the Budget for health, and advocates a streamlining of the education sector.

The JVP’s manifesto also contains five areas and those are (a) A people-friendly government; (b) Affirming human values; (c) An innovative country; (d) A fair society; and (e) Freedom of the individual. Among its policy targets are the reduction of the Cabinet to 25 ministers, the complete abolition of the Executive Presidency, the establishment of a Parliamentary system, and the allocation of at least 6% of the GDP for education.

The United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) will unveil its manifesto on July 28 at Henry Pedris Ground at 9am. Addressing the media, UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha stated that the manifesto’s contents would not be explicated earlier than this, adding moreover that they would be revealed as a surprise on the scheduled time, and venue. However, The Nation learns that the UPFA plans for a mega reforms on Constitution. The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) will unveil its manifesto on July 25 in Jaffna, TNA Parliamentarian Suresh Premachandran confirmed.

Sources from the Democratic Party (DP) stated that they would be releasing their manifesto as soon as possible, although they did not confirm the exact time, date, or venue of the unveiling of the document. Unfortunately, they were too busy to speak to us and their reaction to our telephone calls reminded us the saying “Old habits never die.”
The Bodu Jana Peramuna (BJP), reincarnated avatar of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) released its manifesto on July 23. Titled “Victory for the Sinhalese” and subtitled “One Country, One Race, and One Law”, the document laments a perceived lack of development in the country since independence, highlighting the need to combat foreign forces, empower the Sinhalese businessman and economy, correct wrongs committed to Sinhala people, and the development of the country, identifying two broad goals: protecting and developing the Sinhalese motherland (“Sinhale”).

The Frontline Socialist Party (FLSP) will continue to use the “Vame Vyaparaya” (Left Program), which was unveiled last December for the Presidential Election. The policies contained therein will be continued and used for the General Election, party officials confirmed to The Nation.