- Claims Sirisena-Wickremesinghe Govt. has been in power for many more days but achieved much less
Leader of the Opposition Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday rejected accusations by the Government, arguing that the 52-day Government was not responsible for derailing the economy and playing down regaining GSP plus.
Joining the Budget debate before the second reading debate was taken in Parliament, Rajapaksa attempted to clear his name of accusations that the constitutional deadlock impacted the economy. He also rejected statements that the country lost $ 1 billion from the political turmoil late last year.
“On 5 March, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera, presenting the Budget in Parliament, passed much blame onto the 52-day Government. He was putting all the blame on us, especially for the economic issues the people of this country are now facing. But Ranil Wickremesinghe was the Prime Minister for 1,464 days out of 1,516 days from 8 January 2015 till 5 March 2019. ”
“The Government appointed by President Maithripala Sirisena could actually function only for 19 days, because there were court orders forbidding the functioning of the Cabinet and the Government,” Rajapaksa added.
According to Rajapaksa, during the limited period of time he was in office, not many noticeable decisions were taken and changes were made for the betterment of the country and its people. “During those 19 days, we were able to obtain the consent of foreign investors to bring in around $1,000 million as investments. But they withdrew a few days after, highlighting the unstable situation in the country. According to the Global Finance analysis, in 2014 Sri Lanka was in the first place in Asia on development. But after a few years, we are fighting with Afghanistan for the last place,” said Rajapaksa.
He also blamed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’sGovernment for falling in line with the conditions laid by foreign entities who provided no betterment for Sri Lanka, but only made use of the country for their projects.
“As soon as this Government came into power, they agreed with the conditions of the European Union in order to get the GSP Plus. There were certain conditions harming our national security and interests. Adding more to it, Sri Lanka has agreed to face the Human Rights Council in Geneva on war crimes. As a result of these agreements, the Office of Missing Persons was established here. A large number of LTTE terrorists had been set free. The Government had been compelled to institute legal actions against many military leaders. At such a cost, with the help of GSP plus, the Government could record only exports less than $11.1 billion. They could not improve exports even after betraying the national interests,” he added. (AH)