(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – “In modern democracies, Presidential candidates fearlessly debate their policies at impartially moderated debates,” points out NDF Presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa in his formal letter inviting SLPP candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa for a live televised public debate on policies.
Minister Premadasa has now sent a formal written invitation to Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa reminding him that he had yet to respond to his publicly made challenge to a policy debate.
In his letter, Premadasa says: “On Wednesday, I invited you to take up the challenge of facing the nation at such a debate. Unfortunately, I am yet to receive a response from your campaign. Some of your advisors have alluded to the absence of a formal written invitation, even in this age of technology and digital communication. I therefore take this opportunity, through this letter, to extend to you such a formal written invitation. Mr. Rajapaksa, let us take on the challenge together of facing the nation and putting our visions and policies to the test on a public debate stage, and hold our ideals up to each other’s scrutiny”.
“Sri Lankans will choose their next President on the 16th of November. I am sure you would agree that they deserve the opportunity to make an informed and well considered choice, armed with as much knowledge as we can give them about who and what they are voting for.
“I hope you would agree with me that this is the democratic right of our citizens to be well informed about their choices. In modern democracies around the world, Presidential candidates fearlessly debate their policies at impartially moderated debates. Today, such events are broadcast live on television and on social media. There is no better opportunity for people to weigh candidates’ abilities, character and vision. Indeed, the manner in which candidates respond to their opponents on their feet is often seen as an indication of how they would govern under adversity or respond in a crisis,” he explained.
“Let us show the public that we value the democratic tradition of spirited debate and that we encourage voters to assess us critically and under scrutiny from our opponents. Let us show the public that we believe they deserve to hear what you have to say about my vision for this country, and what I have to say of yours. Let us show them that we have nothing to hide, and that we are not afraid. I strongly urge you and your advisors to act decisively and makeup your mind soon. The public and I eagerly await your favourable response,” he added.