- Charges that cost of living continues to burden citizens
- Says that the controversial telephone tapes were leaked to act as a smoke screen
- Says questionable persons are being appointed to State institutions
The United National Party (UNP) yesterday charged that the reduction in cost of living promised by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in his election manifesto has not materialised to date and casting doubt on investigations was just a smokescreen to evade their responsibilities to the public.
UNP Galle district MP Wijepala Hettiarachchi claimed that the leaking of telephone conversations of MP Ranjan Ramanayake was a smoke screen used by the Government cover up their slow implementation of election promises at a press conference attended by MP Prof. Ashu Marasinghe at the party headquarters.
The price of food items and services do not reflect what was envisaged by those who voted for the Government, they argued. The UNP parliamentarians charged that the Government had not paid the Maha Pola scholarship payments, nor issued the promised relief package. Hettiarachchi alleged that several organisations who protested against social injustice during the Yahapalana Government were not to be heard of today, pointing out that it was clear that those groups were used by the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) to undermine the Government of the day.
The MP’s also expressed their dissatisfaction about Government appointments to ministries and departments, pointing out that the public were expecting new faces and an end to corruption.
“The people were expecting change from the new President, there was high hope that professionals and experts will be appointed to ministries and departments. However, the people are today disappointed – the same people who were there before 2015 have been appointed to positions, it’s old wine in a new bottle,” opined Hettiarachchi.
He accused the Government of appointing persons who were under investigation or facing ongoing legal action to Government departments and State institutions. “The public had a lot of faith that Gotabaya Rajapaksa will not appoint corrupt individuals to State institutions; however, two months on, the old faces have returned,” stated Marasinghe. The UNP is ready to support Government policies that will benefit the public; however, the track record of the Government thus far does not indicate they have changed their ways from 2015, opined Marasinghe, urging the public to think strategically and not be short-sighted at the General Elections.