We oppose Nationalism and Federalism – Samarasinghe
BY PANCHAMEE HEWAVISSENTI
Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna is proclaimed to be the richest political party in the country, with its total income exceeding Rs 87 million, in 2015. JVP is also said to be the most financially secure party with assets worth of over Rs 190 million. The party has also earned over Rs 10 million from the sale of MP's vehicles. However, party aides solemnly declare that the leadership of the party has explicitly evinced its forthrightness by revealing accurate figures of the financial transactions of the party; without duping the public with duplicity like other political parties which have produced superficial records of financial transactions.
Member of JVP Central Committee and the Convener of Sri Lanka's anti-corruption movement, the Voice Against Corruption (VAC) Wasantha Samarasinghe told Ceylon Today, that the present government has abandoned the good governance policies and has lost its good name as a result. He also reproached the government stating that it turns a blind eye to the large-scale corruption of a handful of government's cohorts. He further stated that the country is experiencing a deplorable economic time under the Good Governance Government and that the country's foreign reserves have dropped from 7.5 Billion US$ to 4 Billion US$.
He went onto say that the Treasury bonds scam has induced massive impairment in the country's economy. Samarasinghe reprobated the government's intention of privatizing State-owned organizations and said, "The government is planning to privatize State-owned organizations to slip through the net of the economic crisis the country is experiencing in 17 years."
Meanwhile, the JVP also held the 46th Commemoration of their departed heroes, on 5 April, in Moneragala, Galle and Matale.
Excerpts of the interview are as follows:
?: Is it mandatory for JVP's politicians to donate their salary to the party? If so, from where do they get an income to sustain their families?
A: Donating the salary to the party is the tradition. Prior to becoming an MP or a representative of the people, we had our own means of living as an ordinary citizen of the country. Whatever the political position the members get and the salary earned by the post do not belong to the individuals. That belongs to the party, because the party has given members the opportunity to contest the election. All the members have their individual livelihoods. We do not engage in politics for individual gains. Our objective is to serve the people. The salaries of all the Members of Parliament, Members of the Provincial Councils and Local Government institutions are credited to the Integrated Fund of the party that is used for public service.
We are aware that these positions are not permanent. We cannot remain in political positions forever. Suppose, we could not win an election, we are required to leave the position. Then we have to return to our usual means of living.
If anyone of the People's Representatives is engaged in serving the people of the country on a full time basis, there are various means to sponsor them. There are members of our party to fulfil the needs of our members who are engaged in full time politics.
For example, we have our party members who give hair cuts for other members and tailors to stitch clothes and so on. We mutually support each other.
We abstain from leading extravagant lives and reserve that money for the benefit of the people and this party culture has prevented corruption.
?: JVP alleges the present Finance Minister is engaged in various corruptions and it is rumoured that Minister Mangala Samaraweera will be appointed as Minister of Finance. Do you think the scale of corruptions can be reduced by changing the minister?
A: JVP does not blame only the Finance Minister. We censure the government as a whole. This regime is a fiasco. They dupe the public with false pledges. All the members of this government including President Maithripala Sirisena are into deceiving the public. We censure the manner in which these politicians are ruling the country.
I do not think changing the ministries can lead to ending corruption. Albeit, there can be a little drop in corruption in Finance Ministry. The public is well aware of the corruption the Finance Minister was engaged in.
I declare that, the Finance Ministry will not be given to the SLFP; it will be held by the UNP. So, whoever takes over the ministry, corruption cannot be avoided. The government has failed to resolve the problems faced by the public. They are on a selfish mission of achieving their personal benefits. We claim that none of these politicians will be able to fulfil the expectations of the public.
?: Do you agree with the fact that the company, Perpetual Treasuries is directly accountable for the downfall of the country's economy?
A: The infamous Treasury Bonds scam has caused the collapse of the economy. The government raised the interest rates and the loan rates has increased subsequently. The foreign reserves have rapidly decreased. The export figures and foreign investments have also dropped. Perpetual Treasuries Company should be responsible for this because all these negative effects are owing to the Treasury Bonds scam.
The government has granted tax concessions to the distillery owned by the same company. W.M. Mendis and Co. that belongs to the Perpetual Treasuries has purchased 4000 metric tonnes of rice at a rate of Rs 28 a kilogram. So, the loss to the rice industry is irrecoverable.
The said company has invested in many a financial organizations in the country and is prepared to take over a leading private bank. Previously, the company had purchased shares of a government bank and invested the profit in another financial institution. The company is also alleged to have failed to settle a one day loan obtained from the Central Bank and the E.P.F worth of Rs 11 billion and Rs 360 million on time.
I would like to say the economy of the country is in the hands of scammers who are supported and protected by the government.
Hence, it is not easy for the country's economy to recover if the imposters continue to play games with the economy of the country.
?: You alleged that Perpetual Treasuries Company is on a mission to convert their black money by purchasing and investing in varied types of businesses in the country?
A: All know that Perpetual Treasuries Company has purloined a colossal amount of public money via the Treasury Bonds scam.
In order to gain a legal status for this black money that has been earned in an illicit manner, it needs to be invested somewhere.
Now, the Perpetual Treasuries Company is hard at work in investing the robbed money in various trades in the country. The company has invested in various businesses that have an adverse effect on the public: such as setting up a distillery, starting media institutions to spread false propagandas and so forth. These institutions have direct negative effects on public. That is to say, whatever the business they are engaged in has a detrimental effect to the country's economy and its people.
?: It is said that the Perpetual Treasuries Company has granted Rs 500 million to a Television channel?
A: Yes. As I said, this company is directly responsible for the downfall of the country's economy. When the misdeeds of this company are revealed via telecasts and radio broadcasts on or published in the newspapers the public come to know the truth that these people cause devastation in the country. In order to propagate their false agendas and to conceal the offences and unwelcome activities that they are engaged in, with the blessings of the government, they need to have their own media institutions to whitewash themselves. That is the reason behind their investment in media institutions. Public will be misled in a great deal by the media organizations belonging to Perpetual Treasuries Company. So, the public should be wise not to be carried away by the false news propagated by the media organizations that belong to the Treasury Bonds scammers.
The company has already embarked on misleading the public via a newspaper and their next destination is supposed to be a Television station. We came to know that the Perpetual Treasuries Company is in a bid to purchase a Television station. This company has lent Rs 500 million to the said Television station with the intention of taking over the TV station.
However, I believe that people of this country cannot be fooled by such unethical media organizations.
?: Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna is actively engaged in propagating the agenda of the party in the North. How do you describe the reception of the party by the people of the North?
A: The previous regime attempted to discourage the JVP from spreading to the North. Their cohorts assaulted Sunil Handunnetti and the group on their visit to Jaffna. But, the people of the North heartily welcomed the JVP.
Ramalingam Chandrasekeran is the organizer for the North and executes his responsibilities in an excellent manner. I am glad to state that, new members to the party are being recruited in a large- scale in the North. The people in the North are pleased with our party's convention.
Those who oppose capitalism are joining hands with JVP. We oppose nationalism and Federalism and the people in the North support our endeavours.
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