JO asks Sirisena why he is still in yahapalana Govt.
Posted on June 22nd, 2018

By Shamindra Ferdinando Courtesy The Island

Joint Opposition MP Shehan Semasinghe yesterday said that President Maithripala Sirisena owed an explanation as to why he continued the partnership with the UNP after having accused that party of destroying the national economy.

Semasinghe pointed out that President Sirisena had gone to the extent of claiming that only his intervention saved the state banking sector from being destroyed by the UNP.

The Anuradhapura District MP said so when The Island inquired about the ongoing efforts undertaken by a section of the SLFP to bring warring factions together.

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Semasinghe

Semasinghe said that President Sirisena and the SLFP parliamentary group couldn’t absolve themselves of the responsibility for protecting those responsible for the first treasury bond scam perpetrated on Feb 27, 2015.

Could President Sirisena assure the public that dissolution of parliament in June 2015 wasn’t meant to save the UNP from the fallout of the first bond scam? Semasinghe asked. Pointing out that the decision to dissolve parliament to prevent the tabling of the COPE report on the first bond scam in parliament on June 24, 2015, Semasinghe alleged that the UNP-SLFP combine was responsible for every wrongdoing thereafter.

Had the SLFP allowed the normal COPE procedure followed by proper legal action, the far bigger second bond scam could have been averted, Semasinghe said. In fact, the SLFP’s reaction to the first bond scam was likely to have influenced the second much bigger heist, Semasinghe added. The MP pointed out that the much touted Presidential Commission was appointed only in January the following year and by the time President Sirisena received the report at the end of 2017, the disgraced former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran had already fled the country.

Semasinghe said that of the 95 lawmakers elected and appointed on the UPFA ticket at the last parliamentary polls in 2015 August 41 (39 SLFP and two CWC members) sided with President Sirisena.

Responding to another query, Semasinghe said that the electorate had rejected both the UNP and the SLFP alike at the countrywide Local Government polls last Feb. Both the SLFP and the UNP hadn’t been able to recover in spite of much publicized cosmetic cabinet changes and restructuring and various other measures even four months after massive electoral drubbing, the Anuradhapura District MP said.

Referring to a recent live interview on the programme Salakuna on Hiru, Semarasinghe said that Minister Patali Champika did not mince his words when he declared that the SLFP was no longer in a position to contest a countrywide election. Minister Champika is on record as having said that the UNP, too, would suffer the same fate in case it lost the next election, he said; adding that the Joint Opposition was in a commanding position.

The JO contested the February Local Government polls on the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) ticket.

Semasinghe alleged that the country was at a standstill thanks to waste, corruption and irregularities. Of course, there had been mistakes during the previous Rajapaksa administration. There were shortcomings and failures, the MP said. But, under the former President’s leadership, the UPFA achieved many successes, in addition to bringing the once invincible LTTE to its knees militarily.

Recent images from Vishvamadu of a Lieutenant Colonel Ratnapriya Bandu felicitated by civilians proved beyond the success of post-war national reconciliation process initiated by the war winning government. The government conveniently turned a blind eye to glaring example of the military-civilian relationship, Semasinghe said. In spite of lies propagated by those interested parties hell-bent on hauling Sri Lanka before hybrid judicial mechanism, the people of the Vanni heartland had recognized government efforts, the MP said.

The MP alleged that the government wanted to find fault with the previous government and the military for defeating the LTTE.

Commenting on ongoing controversy over Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Affairs Minister D.M. Swaminathan proposing special compensation package for those who had been killed fighting successive governments, Semasinghe said the government seemed confused. Obviously, there had not been any previous instance of any government compensating under any circumstances terrorists and their families, Semasinghe said.

The MP said that the electorate would vote against the UNP and the SLFP at any election. They had been rejected in February and the same fate awaits them at Provincial Council, presidential and parliamentary polls.

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