Colombo: Sri Lanka’s New Democratic Front’s (NDF) presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa has sought the support of expatriates for the November 16 election.
In a letter to the Sri Lankan community living abroad, Premadasa on Friday said the election came at a crucial time when “our country stands at a veritable crossroad in its history, at a time when our democratic traditions, values and institutions as well as the rule of law, are constantly under threat”, the Daily Mirror newspaper reported.
“As the candidate of the New Democratic Front at the forthcoming presidential election in Sri Lanka, I am addressing this letter to you Sri Lankan citizens abroad, seeking your support and your blessings for my candidature,” Premadasa, also the incumbent Minister of Housing Construction and Cultural Affairs, said in the letter.
“The New Democratic Front and I, as its presidential candidate, are committed to transforming our Nation to a forward-looking modern, and a prosperous nation, by leaving no one behind, by ending poverty and deprivation in all their forms and dimensions and by ensuring equal opportunities for all.
“I take this opportunity to urge all of you concerned sons and daughters of our motherland, to extend your unstinted support to the New Democratic Font and to me, to keep your motherland safe and secure for future generations,” he added.
Premadasa is among the record 35 candidates in the fray for the island nation’s eighth presidential election.
The NDF contender, who is the son of late President Ranasinghe Premadasa (1989-1993), has already emerged as a front-runner along with Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna’s candidate.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa served as the Defence Minister in his brother Mahinda Rajapaksa’s administration. He oversaw the end of Sri Lanka’s brutal 25-year civil war in 2009.