Ranil takes jab at JO; says no Confidence motion is warranted only against MR

Friday, 10 June 2016 01:10 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}



President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe chat in Parliament yesterday during the debate on the no confidence motion against the Finance Minister



Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday threw the  ball back in the court of Joint Opposition urging them that the no confidence motion was more warranted against former President and Finance Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa for bankrupting the country and not against the incumbent Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake.

The salvo by Premier was fired at the Joint Opposition during the vote on the no confidence motion against the Finance Minister which was taken up in Parliament yesterday. The motion was defeated convincingly by the National Unity Government by a majority of 94 votes. President Maithripala Sirisena was present during the debate.

Having described the no confidence motion as an obscenity (kunuharapayak) which should be soundly defeated, Premier said what was needed is a no confidence motion against former President Mahinda Rajapaksa who was also the Finance Minister.

“It is the former President who violated the provisions of the Fiscal Management Responsibility Act and not the present Finance Minister,” Wickremesinghe said joining in the debate.

In a lighter vain, the Prime Minister said that the former President should be suspended by the House for a week for violating finance regulations, and sent off to Uganda. 

Despite much noise by the Joint Opposition, MP Mahinda Rajapaksa was absent during the debate and the vote yesterday.

The Premier said the no-confidence motion can be broken into three sections. 

“ The first, he said was against the Minister for misleading the country and mismanaging the economy. The second was quoting a newspaper article and the third was about debt not being accounted during the Rajapaksa regime. “Why didn’t you take this to Finance Committee? You could have challenged Minister Karunanayake to prove it? Your problem would have been sorted in case he was unable to prove it. The IMF in its report certified the contingent liabilities, which were not found before. All-in-all Mahinda Rajapaksa as former Finance Minister violated the Fiscal Responsibility Act by withholding the facts from the Parliament. I suggest that we suspend MP Rajapaksa from parliament for a week and send him to Uganda,” Wickremesinghe quipped.

The Prime Minister also said that the Treasury was empty when the new Government took over on 8 January last year. “An early election was held because (former Finance Ministry Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera) said there was no way to take the country forward as the country was going bankrupt.

Premier also said  “Allowing to move a no-confidence motion signifies the democracy in this country. Were you able to bring such before? Since 2005 President Mahinda Rajapaksa was holding to it and no room was provided. Only after Maithripala Sirisena became the President did we get the opportunity to bring a no-confidence motion against the finance minister. I invite you to join the UPFA and work with the Government rather than teaming up there in the back,” Wickremesinghe said.