Upcoming LG Elections a referendum
By Anuradha Herath
National Organizer of the Joint Opposition and UPFA Parliamentarian Dullas Alahapperuma says the Sri Lanka Freedom Party is the ancestral home of the patriots of this country; home to progressive persons, and the sanctuary of the leftists. "Today the UNP has leased it out".
The Treasury Bond Fraud Report has been released and hasn't Maithri taken the sword out in a way no one thought of?
A: He appointed the Commission and the Report was out in no time. I do not hesitate to give credit for all of that to the President. However, there is no sign that he has taken up the sword. Either he does not have a sword in hand or it is only the sheath of the sword that he is in possession of.
Nevertheless, the Report has made serious recommendations regarding former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake?
A: Have you heard of a saying, "All the garbage is to the Beruwala Bokka?" What I perceive is, that someone has given the advice, that when 'Ravi' has been debilitated that all planetary faults of everyone else will automatically get reduced. There are Sumanadasas everywhere!
According to the Commission Report, which has been made public, as of now, the Treasury Bond boat has sailed only in one or two small rivers or tributaries. It has not gone anywhere near the big mother river. What I honestly believe is, what we are seeing now is the second episode of the mega tele drama, 'The fearless Prime Minister'.
Is it appropriate to say so, without any justifiable cause or reason?
A: Not only one reason, there are many. Just see, this is the first time in history, that the Central Bank has been taken away from the Ministry of Finance. It is a first time in world history, a Finance Minister is appointed while being the first accused in a foreign exchange fraud case. Appointing of a foreigner as the Governor of the Central Bank, happened for the first time since 1948, and the appointee not being sworn in under the Constitution, and also being the person in charge of campaign funds of the Presidential Election. Parliament dissolved, in one year with the primary aim of safeguarding the Prime Minister, without allowing Dew Gunasekera to present the COPE Report. A committee of UNP lawyers guarantees that no fraud whatsoever had taken place in the Treasury Bond transactions. Sudden removal of Member of Parliament Velukumar from the COPE and appointing Sujeewa Senasinghe in his place; Minister Senasinghe requesting and getting an injunction order against COPE removed and publishing a book stating that no fraud had ever taken place. A country where Courts sat at night, under the Public Property Act, taking persons into custody, for erecting eight flag poles while adopting a soft policy regarding this very serious crime, even though there is a general belief that nine (9) is nasty, just consider these nine reasons only and see whether you do not feel justified suspicion or not.
The Prime Minister has given an order to the Attorney General's Department to expedite the investigation...?
A: Not only that, there is even a Parliamentary Debate and a special statement was made. How many other things will come in the queue...? We respectfully ask the President, do not allow a formula constituted of sword-stingray's tail-elastic band, to be set up.
Today this meeting is on 10 January, in exactly thirty days elections will be held. What will happen...?
A: There are three main factors to this.
One, this election, it is not something the Government is offering on a platter. The elections should have been held in May 2015, was not conducted and democracy was being assassinated over 2 ½ years, we twisted their arm and got them to hold this election. We should share the honour with the Elections Commission as well as with Elections Observer Organizations.
The second being that this election is not of simple value, only to elect representatives to solve problems at the village level; the first Local Government Elections in Sri Lanka was held in 1865. Since then, this is the most important election, not only politically but nationally as well as internationally. All the importance that is attributed to a General Election is there in the 10 February elections. This is very clearly a referendum.
Third, today this Government completes three years, can you estimate the destruction wrought on the country's economy, security, sovereignty, democracy and the stability of the country within the past three years?
Do you approve of the exploitation of State property by selling them to foreign Governments?
Can you bear the cost of living? Has there been any other period in your life, where stealing, inability and poverty have been more marked? The answer you give to this series of questions should be answered by your conscience when you are casting your vote on 10 February. You can take the major step towards changing this Government at this election. It does not matter whom you had voted for at past elections. Use your vote on 10 February for a stable Government, for security and for the economy and against thieves.
You represent the Sri Lanka Freedom Party. This is an SLFP-UNP Government. How can we understand this change?
A: It is not a mighty big puzzle. I clearly represent the Joint Opposition. All parties in the JO consider and accept defeating the UNP as their agenda as a serious responsibility.
At the same time remember that this Government which is now three years old was established together with all other political parties except for the parties of the JO.
However, the TNA and the JVP also represents the Opposition don't they?
A: Yes, the official Opposition. But do not forget that on 9 January, the SLFP Prime Minister and Cabinet was chased away, and Ranil Wickremesinghe became Prime Minister and this Government was established by the TNA, JVP, SLMC and JHU. Then, Ranil Wickremesinghe had only 46 out of the 225 seats in Parliament. From among all these people who shout till their throats are hoarse and taste of blood, who from them said that it was against democracy? As a counter offering they must have been granted positions in the official Opposition.
Being a member of the SLFP and becoming a member of another party (SLPP) is it not illegal and ill disciplined?
A: Not only for the SLFP, it is a disciplinary problem relevant to any party. It is mentioned basically in the Constitution of any party.
However you are violating that without any fear?
A: Until today, this moment, we have not done so. The mother of our Party is Sirimavo. I obtained membership and received a post of organizer from that great lady. I was the former Treasurer of the Party and Deputy Chairman. I have never betrayed the Party. However, it was the UNP agenda which deprived the Mother of our Party, of her civic rights. If the Hand is being used to cover the nudity of the Elephant, my conscience is not prepared to become a prisoner among the clauses of the Party Constitution.
What you are trying to indirectly say is that it is justified to join the Podujana Peramuna, isn't that so?
A: In my entire life I have not said or written anything in a roundabout manner; whatever the bad consequences I speak straight.
What you are trying to say is that as since your ancestral home has been leased out by the UNP that you had to move to another home?
A: Sri Lanka Freedom Party is the ancestral home of the patriots of this country. The ancestral home of progressive persons, it is the sanctuary of the leftists. But you are quite correct. Today the UNP has leased it out. We cannot let the shawl that is wet with the blood of Prime Minister Bandaranaike cover the faces of Bank Robbers. It is a reason for shame and sorrow.
But then this lease agreement is only for two years isn't it?
A: That was what we were told. That agreement was signed on 21 August 2015, saying for two years. Accordingly it ended on 21 August 2017. Then we were told that it was extended up to 31 December 2017. Today the date is 10 January. Now these are expired goods.
Why don't you go to Court against it?
A: We are going to the People's Court on 10 February.
Aren't certain Ministers of your Party now saying that they will leave the Government subsequent to the election...?
A: What I can tell them is, if they like to eat faeces, do it, but use a spoon! Those who are attempting to join to ensure UNP administrations within Pradeshiya Sabhas after 10 February will be easy to identify. They are naked.
However, they are saying that they are clad in new underwear, it is completely true; they are green coloured.
There are massive accusations against you all, the group, who is with Mahinda Rajapaksa. Madame Chandrika says that those who have joined Mahinda are drunks and thieves?
A: As I have read Victor Ivan's book Chaura Rajina and also because I am unable to challenge her on alcoholism, I will not say anything about that
Wasn't there a great division within the JO about the decision on contesting under the Flower Bud?
A: It is a clean lie. It was an ailing government's media which reported it.
Two strong members of the JO joined the Government?
Please do not try to motivate me to talk about persons who were with us for some time. However, it is very clear that those decisions were definitely neither personal nor based on economic reasons. They were not due to political reasons either.
But the question I have is, why don't you see or ask questions or talk about those who joined us kicking away the privileges of Government...throwing away their ministerial posts? See, Priyankara Jayaratne, Arundika Fernando, Dulip Wijesekera and Nimal Lansa joined us. If two people leaving amount to a tremor then four people joining should be an earthquake!
Prime Minister has stressed that the Government cannot be toppled through this election?
A: Someone should show him, that the earth is slipping under his feet. At the referendum to be held on 10 February you should mark the decision according to your conscience. When the sun travels from the sign of 'Meena' to the sign of 'Mesha' in the month of April, cartoonists such as Anjana, Dasa and M. D. will definitely draw cartoons of Ranil Wickremesinghe in a shabby patched coat.
This election is being held to appoint representatives to work in villages. But you are talking about national problems?
A: The 30 days from today until 10 February are 30 days that you will never get back in your life time. Our decision is regarding the future of the country and not a decision regarding garbage problems of Pradeshiya Sabha's or street lamps. Just think for a moment regarding the fate of our country. The Economic Growth rate of our country has fallen to 4 per cent. Inflation has increased to 9 per cent.
Government expenditure has increased by 49 per cent. The burden of tax on people has risen by 94 per cent. The value of the rupee has depreciated by 20 per cent.
Government debt has increased to 10,000 billion rupees. All State resources have been sold to foreigners. Separatists have raised their heads again and the underworld is active, Wilpattu has been destroyed, tuskers have been killed, we are losing in cricket, the elections map has been folded up. "Where should we be on 11 February?" Please ask your conscience.
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