"I Think This Is A Fantastic Idea": Hype Building Over ‘Presidential Election 2019—Public Platform’ Event: Professionals Express Views

Great excitement has been building on social media over the event that is to be held over the weekend, featuring top Presidential election 2019 candidates in a public discussion.

The event, which is organised by the March 12 Movement and the AFRIEL Youth Network will be held tomorrow (Saturday) from between 3-6 PM at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium.

Event organisers say the public discussion will be telecast LIVE on all television stations, as the event is seen to be of national interest and importance.

It is the first time in the history of Presidential elections in Sri Lanka, that candidates have been invited into one stage to give their views on a number of issues and topics.

At a meeting with the media, the event organisers said the candidates would be posed a series of important questions that have been pre-selected by a committee within the March 12 Movement and the AFRIEL youth organisation.

Expressing his views on the event, Professor Susirith Mendis said, “I think it is a good idea. We should establish a tradition where all credible candidates are brought to one platform to talk about national issues. I don’t think it is practical to bring all who have submitted to one platform. I think the top candidates—there are three in this instance, Mr Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Mr Sajith Premadasa and Mr Anura Kumara Dissanayake—should be brought for a public discussion.”

Meanwhile, Professor Sujeewa Amarasena said, “I would like to see the politics of Sri Lanka moving from the streets and playgrounds into conferences halls. As a country develops from low-income to middle-income, we should make these changes. It also strengthens democracy and accountability. Normally, the vote is the only bond between the people and the President, now they have more than that. I think this is a fantastic idea.”

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