Statement made by PM was wrong - Dayasiri

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Published by : CT WEB 2018-01-26 03:27:29

By Anuradha Herath

Minister of Sports Dayasiri Jayasekera says the Bond Report has been sent to the Attorney General's Department and now strong action should be taken by the AG's Department against culprits.

Excerpts:

As the SLFP, for the first time you are facing this election with a major division?

A: This is not the first time, we have had a division. In 1980, Basil Rajapaksa and others divided the SLFP and contested elections in this manner. Then it went to the UNP. In 1987, also Madame Chandrika divided this party, similarly. In 1989, we lost 45,000 votes. Anyhow, at this election we are in a very stable position. I would like to request everyone to support the Betel Leaf and ensure victory and also to vote against the activities of the Flower Bud which is advantageous to the UNP.

What sort of victory are you expecting?

A: We believe that we will achieve a great victory. We were at a very low level. However at present, we have been able to push our campaign forward. Our attempt is to win a majority of the councils.

You once alleged that it was Basil Rajapaksa and Namal Rajapaksa who prevented the two parties from getting together. However the actual impact has been due to your getting together with the UNP to form a Government isn't it?

A: The problem is not there. Everyone approved the governing together with the UNP. Only Kumara Welgama objected. Such a Government had to be established since one party did not have adequate seats to form a Governmnt. If we did not join, what would have happened very clearly is that 6 or 7 from our party would have joined the UNP and allowed them to form a Government. It was our desire to prevent that. Everyone agreed to that. It is now that they are voicing their opposition to it.

Are you still of that same opinion?

A: Yes. Even today, we are saying that if we leave the Government, by tomorrow morning there will be about eleven individuals from the Joint Opposition who will go and sit with the UNP. Then, the UNP will form a Government on its own. It was to prevent this from happening that we started this journey.

Even though you pledged that you were going to form a Government that would tackle corruption, supporters of the Rajapaksa Administration, who were involved in misdemeanours, are contesting today from the SLFP?

A: There are some. However, I do not think there are corrupt persons with us. The reason is those corrupt individuals cannot be with us. Secondly, this system we are engaged in, together with the President, is clearly one against corrupt politicians. We have the ability to speak to people at the grassroots.

You said previously that there was no possibility of establishing a Government alone, since you had no majority. However, now the two sections, from two directions, are saying that a single party Government will be set up. Is it justified to say that when you are together with the UNP?

A: It will be in 2020 that we will bring about the concept to establish a single party Government. I do not think thatchanges will take place earlier. However, in 2020, we will build a single party Government of the United People's Freedom Alliance.

Then the two parties have to join together. Isn't that so?

A: Yes. The two parties have to get together for that purpose.

There is a powerful accusation that even though the President makes various controversial statements, no action at all has been taken as yet. Are these controversial stories only until 10 February?

A: If you consider the Bond scam, it was clear that there was an accusation that there was no point in setting up such a commission, after it was appointed. When the report was released, it was said that it would be done only after the elections. Then after the report was released and it was sent to the Attorney General, it is said that no action will be taken. So, what I believe is that these rumours should be put aside and decisions should be taken. As the report has been sent to the Attorney General's Department, maximum action should be taken by them.

This report has been tabled in Parliament. With the existing situation what sort of action will be taken?

A: Clearly, very strong judicial action will be taken. The next step is to issue indictments from the High Court against them. Steps will be taken to do that.

There is an accusation that in the Report of the Bond Commission, appointed by the President, the most serious matters in connection with the fraud have not been included.

A: What he presented was a very small section of the report. What has to happen now is after it becomes a public document, we can argue about the matters included in it. Neither you nor I have seen those recommendations as yet. There was a view of the Bond Commission that if even this brief summary was not presented, we would have had to wait for another month and a half. Now, we have to take strong action.

If by chance this is postponed, some may be of the opinion that the President is protecting the UNP?

A: That is in the hands of the Attorney General's Department. Now, the AG's Department should take action. The President does not have the authority in connection with that.

The President is going to appoint a Commission to inquire into the deals of Mihin Lanka and SriLankan. Why did he take so long to take that decision?

A: Yes, there was a delay. However, what has to be remembered is the fact that as much as in connection with the previous Government, this Government, too, has problems regarding SriLankan Airlines. Therefore, appointing such a committee is a good thing.

With an election round the corner, why did the President inquire about his term?

A: People gave various opinions. While some said he had six years, others said it was five years. Therefore, based on the authority the President has, he was able to inquire about it. The matter has been determined extremely clearly according to the Constitution. We have to be satisfied with the result.

With the protests and chaos that took place during the last Parliamentary session, how can you have trust in an administration lacking discipline?

A: Actually, when a debate was requested to discuss the Bond Transactions, the Prime Minister allowed it. If that was not granted they would have kept saying it was not given. It was subsequently that the two sides fought, calling each other 'thieves.' It was a very ugly scene. It was something that should not have taken place. It was caused due to the request being made and the granting of the request. The other faction lost their temper because of that statement. This was an incident that should not have taken place.

It seems as if you are trying to protect the Prime Minister's actions during this incident?

A: No, I said very clearly that the statement made by the Prime Minister was wrong. I do not need to protect anyone. He should not have made that statement. It caused chaos. These actions brought his character into disrepute. What finally happened was that it caused a commotion and Parliamentarians' behaved like small children.

I am asking you this question in connection with your post as Minister of Sports. Cricket matches are being lost continuously.

What has to be done about that?

A: There is no point in accusing me of that. I'm not the one playing cricket, but the players. If people are trying to disrupt our cricket matches and no one is allowed to bowl, then it is my responsibility. Cricketers should take their responsibilities seriously. I believe that together with the arrival of Chandika Hathurusinghe, there will be some stability. Let us see after this tour they are engaged in. If we have not done what should be done on our part, it would not matter your accusing us.

 

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