Government formed by Ranil – Rajapaksa camp is not an all-party government – Anura Dissanayake
NPP leader Anura Dissanayake emphasizes that the government formed with Ranil Wickramasinghe and the Rajapaksa camp will not be an all-party government.
He emphasized this at a press conference held yesterday (3rd) at the JVP head office at Pelawatta.
He said, “Over the decades, we have listened to many opening speeches and budget presentations of various presidents in Parliament. Some basic facts can be identified in each of these stories. The first is democracy. The second is economic development. Another is about the future of the youth. There is also the idea of national unity. They have also expressed views on country building and reducing fraud and corruption. Apart from this, nothing new has been presented by the current president. Despite the talk of economic development, the country’s economy collapsed day by day. No matter how many stories have been presented here about the expansion of democracy and new constitutional amendments, what has actually happened is that democracy has shrunk. No matter how many stories are presented about the fight against fraud and corruption, what has actually happened is that fraud and corruption has risen. Although it is said that young people should be represented in the parliament, the majority of the people in the parliament are people over 70, 80. Therefore, we do not see anything new in Ranil Wickramasinghe’s statement.
Indeed, this is like a story presented by President Ranil Wickremesinghe against Ranil Wickremesinghe. He represents this Parliament for 45 years. He has held the post of Prime Minister on 06 occasions for 43 years. He has held the position of a cabinet minister. He has worked as an opposition leader. So he is one of the main links responsible for the precipice the country has fallen. The facts about the economic collapse and the spread of fraud and corruption in his statement as the President are also relevant to him.
In this statement, he talks about an all-party government to build the country together. We presented a programme to form an all-party government immediately after Gotabaya Rajapaksa left and then an election to be held in a short period of time. We suggested that the Speaker should become the President, the Prime Minister should be chosen by the consensus of the parties agreeing to the all-party government, the Cabinet of Ministers should be limited to 10, the cases of fraud and corruption should be reassigned, and the investigations should be restarted. But Ranil and the Rajapaksa camp coming together to form a government and asking others to join it does not constitute the formation of an all-party government. It’s merely an act of the rest of the people supporting the Ranil-Rajapaksa government.
The basic basis of an all-party government should be that the president and the prime minister are not involved in a future power project, and all the parties join the cabinet, and it is limited to a short period of time. It is bad for democracy for such a government to be in office for a long time. But the president does not announce the time of the all-party government he is presenting. In the past, proposals made by Mahanayakas, lawyers’ associations and various civil organizations included proposals for a short interim government. But the president never declares the role of the all-party government and how long it will last. This parliament has another 03 years. It appears that he is preparing to drag this Parliament for the duration and be in power until then. Therefore, we do not contribute to such an all-party government. He suggests that others support a government formed by him and the leadership of the Rajapaksas. We do not agree to such a government. But if the Ranil-Rajapaksa government is ready to present a short-term plan to get out of this crisis, we can proceed by presenting our views based on the positive features of that plan.
President Ranil Wickremesinghe has been continuously trying to divide the struggle into two parts: peaceful fighters and terrorists. While presenting ideas about democracy, he tries to suppress and intimidate those who have engaged in the struggle. His rage is contained in this story. He says that peaceful struggles will be protected, but terrorists will be arrested. One of these ‘terrorists’ is a person who is said to have sat in the President’s chair in the Presidential Palace. Four others have been arrested for the crime of correctly counting the money found in the Presidential Palace and handing it over to the police. He arrests a young man who was sleeping with the presidential flag, which he himself rejects. Another young man is arrested as the first person to enter the Presidential Secretariat. According to Ranil Wickramasinghe, they are terrorists of the struggle.
He is trying to hunt down the groups that are actually leading the struggle and label them as terrorists. He is trying to give the people a poisoned cake with icing called democracy. Some were given court orders not to go to the protest site. Who wouldn’t go to such a place at that moment? Even those whom the police were looking for went there. It was a public uprising. Everyone went there for that inspiration. Now some people are being arrested for violating a court order. He divides the struggle into sections for the sake of suppression.
He says that laws will be made to reduce fraud and corruption. His government represents crooks and the corrupt. He should show what he says by his actions. Today, the Minister of Urban Development in Ranil Wickremesinghe’s government, the chief organizer of his government is Prasanna Ranatunga. He was convicted of extortion. The court fined him Rs. 25 million. It was also decided to pay 2 million compensation to the concerned person, and his sentence was suspended for four years. Although he appealed, he got this decision from the High Court. That is because the effort made to extort a citizen was proved. He has been convicted in a case filed during Ranil Wickramasinghe’s government. Today he is a cabinet minister in Ranil Wickramasinghe’s government and the chief organizer of this government. After appointing such people to his government, Ranil Wickramasinghe tells us today to work to reduce fraud and corruption.
Now, Nimal Siripala is the Aviation Minister. Together with Japan Taisai, a construction project was being done at Katunayake Airport. He was accused of demanding extortion from the Japanese Taisai company. Such a story was not published in any media or website. But Gotabaya Rajapaksa got that specific information. Therefore Gotabaya Rajapaksa ordered Nimal Siripala to leave the cabinet. He resigned on that notice. Ranil Wickramasinghe appointed a committee to look into this matter. Specifically, former president Gotabaya received that information. He saw that a diplomatic issue, a conflict between two countries, could arise. However, Ranil Wickramasinghe set up a fake committee. However, government officials of another country would not come and face such committees.) The committee got into action very quickly. There were committees appointed on the sugar tax fraud, on Pandora papers, and on the Easter attacks. There are no reports of those committees up to now. But within a week, a report came from this committee involved in the Nimal Siripala transaction. Not only did the report come, but the next day the swearing-in of the minister was also done.
If Ranil Wickramasinghe is sincerely trying to reduce fraud and corruption, he should first bring his friend Arjun Mahendran to court. There is a protest of the people of the country against the government about fraud and corruption. There is no point in declaring that they are working to eliminate fraud and corruption. They have to prove it in practice. If fraud and corruption are to be dealt with, Ranil Wickramasinghe should immediately remove the corrupt cabinet members who have been proven by the court.
Another allegation made by Ranil Wickramasinghe is that the political activists are hindering development. He cited the oil tank complex in Trincomalee as an example. According to him, “the oil tank complex was to be sold to India; if it had been sold, the economy could have been developed more, trade unions did not allow to sell. The reason for the collapse of this economy is the slogans of these trade unions.”
Then Petroleum Minister Chandima Weerakkodi presented a cabinet paper to develop 16 oil tanks in the oil complex of Trincomalee with the intervention of the oil corporation and to store oil. Ranil Wickramasinghe was the Prime Minister at that time. That cabinet paper was passed by the cabinet. After it was passed, Ranil Wickramasinghe put another cabinet paper. It is a cabinet paper issued for the first time in Sri Lanka. It is the cabinet paper submitted by Ranil Wickramasinghe to cancel Chandima Weerakkodi’s cabinet paper which was approved by the cabinet. That is how Ranil Wickramasinghe became an obstacle to developing the oil tank complex. In the end, Chandima Veerakkodi lost his ministerial post. It was Ranil Wickramasinghe who hindered this development.
The other point is that the opposition did not object when borrowing from the international market. By 1920 $15 1/2 billion in international sovereign bonds had been taken. It was in 2007 that international sovereign bonds were sold, and borrowing started. During the 08 years from 2007 to 2015, when Ajith Nivard Cabral was the president, the bond loan taken during the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime was 3 1/2 billion dollars. Ranil Wickramasinghe borrowed 12 billion dollars through international sovereign bonds from 2015-2019. He makes the allegation that instead of opposing when borrowing from the international market, there is opposition when borrowing for projects. Ranil Wickramasinghe’s statement is a statement against his own actions.
We don’t see them trying to change this country. Who are the presidential advisors he appoints? Those with expertise and experience in the respective subject areas should be appointed for the advisers’ positions. But he has appointed MPs who were defeated in the election. But he tells us that he wants to give opportunities to young people and new ideas.
This is just another extension of the words that Ranil Wickramasinghala has concocted to destroy this country over a period of time. But if he is ready to solve this crisis, if he submits some proposal for an interim government for a short period of time (no facts have been given so far), then we can show an interest in it. Nevertheless, if Ranil Wickramasinghe tries to launch this absurd tragicomedy that is being shown, it is impossible to prevent this country from going to the precipice. We invite this country’s citizens to come together to avoid such a situation.”
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