MR issues call to send Govt packing

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By 2017-11-17

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa told Parliament yesterday (16), that all patriotic forces should come together to send the Government home.

Joining the final day debate on the second reading of the Budget 2018, he said that the results of the next election would reflect the aspirations of the people.

Those results would help bring to power a new team which could salvage the country from the current quagmire of economic and political crisis, he said.

Rajapaksa spoke immediately after Tamil National Alliance Leader R. Sampanthan who appealed to him to refrain from creating communal tensions. Rajapaksa said that he completely understands the sensitive sentiments expressed by the Opposition Leader.

"I call upon all those who love the motherland to give their fullest cooperation to send the incumbent Government home," Rajapaksa added.

"These corrupt and inefficient leaders should be sent home immediately. It is the task before the people of this country. The public displeasure against this Government is very loud and clear and is reverberating across the country. The Government is suffering from election phobia and has delayed holding Local Government polls for the past two and a half years. People are aware of this and the entire nation rejects the Government's attempt in Sept 2017 to further postpone the elections in the face of an inevitable loss.

But there would be an end to this procrastination soon. There will soon be a day when the public aspirations will triumph again. The sinister tactics of these corrupt and inefficient leaders would not be able to delay the elections any further. On that day, the wishes and hopes of the people will arise. A new team capable of solving political and national problems will come to power."

He said that the Budget 2018 does not have a progress review. "What progress have they done to talk about? Could they say that they gave jobs? Could they say that they improved businesses or the economy? Could they state that they developed the education or healthcare? Could they tell that they brought in foreign investments? Could they boast of strengthening the rupee? Could they at least tell that they were able to give petrol on time? They have not made any progress, so there is no progress review in the Budget speech."

He said that the Government would double its tax revenue from the people and the businesses by the end of next year if the taxes included in the Budget proposals are implemented. "It seems that the coalition regime thinks of fleecing masses through taxes and price hikes is a virtue and an achievement. The Prime Minister and his cronies always boast of increasing the Government revenue through the increasing of taxes.

The former President demanded to know from the Government as to what development they did with the money earned from the tax increases. "What have you done with the money earned through the means of unprecedented taxes? Have they built a single power plant at least? Have they built any harbour? Have they renovated a single airport? Have they built at least a single expressway? Have they been able to build at least a single bridge? Have they been able to give a single new economic zone for the businessmen? Have they at least been able to remove a single garbage dump? Have they been able to create at least a single new job? I do not expect that the members of the coalition will give us answers. But the answers are no longer secret for the entire nation knows what happened to the monies taken from their pockets.

Though the government failed to spend money on development, it brought down hundreds of super luxury vehicles for the President and the Ministers. Though there is no war, it purchased an old warship of which the price was equal to the amount being cited to sell off the Mattala Airport. They engaged in the biggest ever scam of this country – the Treasury Bonds scam. They suspended purchasing flights to the Sri Lankan Airlines and paid compensation of Rs 15 billion. They planned to suspend the Port City project and had to pay Rs 21 billion as compensation and were compelled to give five acres from the new land being reclaimed to the Chinese company. During the years 2015 and 2016 they added Rs 426 billion to the already existing outstanding loans.

Though the Government has no means and time to engage in development it has all the time in the world and powers to suppress dissent. People including monks who took to the streets had been baton charged and fired at with water cannons. Thousands of others had to go behind bars," he said.

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