Close link between Budget criticisms and London protest — President

Monday, 13 December 2010 00:28 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The opinions of some who oppose this Budget and the terrorist conspiracy that supported the Oxford Union speech are closely inter-related, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa addressing Parliament at the end of the Committee Stage debate on the Appropriation Bill 2011 on Friday.

This exposed a delicate attempt through the Budget debate to revive terrorism in the country, he said.

The third reading of the 2011 Budget was passed in parliament Friday with 156 votes for and 40 against. The UNP and DNA voted against the Budget while the TNA abstained from voting. Certain speakers participating in the debate said that no money has been allocated for the development of the North.

The Government has given priority to the development of the North and the East, said the President. Development is also a priority in our endeavour to find a political solution that would unite the Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim communities, he added.

President Rajapaksa explained that every Ministry has allocated funds for Northern development.

Another attempt that is being carried out at present, according to the President, is a move to degrade the judiciary and allow foreign judicial organs to interfere in the legal system of the country.

The Government considers it important to strengthen our judiciary and its independence, the President said.

Replying to those who criticise the allocations to the Defence Ministry as being excessive, President Rajapaksa said defence expenditure should be seen as an investment that guarantees national security.

“Our land territory maritime and air space have to be strategically defended for which we have to spend in future too,” he said. “We also have to strengthen our peace keeping missions abroad as well as developing the capabilities of our security forces to make it the most disciplined army in the world. By doing so we would be giving priority to strengthen our investment environment.”

 “Therefore, whatever others say a Government will not hesitate to manage defence expenditure to suit our requirements. It should be understood as an investment against the resurgence to the most dreadful terrorism that arose in the country,” he said.

President Rajapaksa also said that the Government has received information that sinister moves were underway to create clashes among the Security Forces.

The President said, “we have received information that there are conspiracies to divide the Security Forces create suspicion against each other.” He also warned that these conspirators should not be allowed to achieve their aim which would lead the country towards conflict.