SLPP General Secretary attacked President and PM, not me, Gammanpila claps back
Posted on June 13th, 2021

Courtesy Adaderana

Minister of Energy Udaya Gammanpila, addressing the criticisms over the recent price hike of fuel, says that all he did was informing the public of a collective decision made by the government including the President and the Prime Minister.

Holding a press conference today (June 13), the Minister of Energy responded to the heavy criticisms and calls to step down from his position over the fuel price hike.

On Friday (June 11) the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CEYPETCO) and Lanka Indian Oil Corporation (LIOC) announced an increase in fuel prices.

Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) General Secretary MP Sagara Kariyawasam, yesterday (June 12) issued a statement that the subject minister must take complete responsibility for pushing the people into more difficulties with a fuel price hike amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The statement called the subject minister to step down from his position.

Explaining the process behind the increase in fuel prices, Minister Udaya Gammanpila stated that the decision was taken on June 09 by the Cabinet Sub Committee on Cost of Living following lengthy discussions.

The Minister further pointed out that the Sub-Committee consisted of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, Minister of Trade Bandula Gunawardena, Minister of Agriculture Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Minister of Power Dullas Alahapperuma, Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs Namal Rajapaksa, State Minister of Finance Ajith Nivard Cabraal, and State Minister of Consumer Affairs Lasantha Alagiyawanna in addition to himself, as the Minister of Energy.

He further said that he received written consent from the Prime Minister on June 10 regarding the price hike.

All I did was inform the public of a collective decision made by the government including the President and the Prime Minister,” he said.

Gammanpila pointed out that, while a fuel price hike is usually announced by the Ministry of Finance, volunteered for this task in order to ‘protect the President and the Prime Minister’.

Sagara Kariyawasam did not attack me; he attacked the only President made from his party, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, and his party leader Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa,” he said.

The Energy Minister says that the SLPP General Secretary inconvenienced the Prime Minister by inflicting a blow on the Prime Minister using a statement issued with the letterhead containing the Prime Minister’s photograph.

Kariyawasam has committed a grave mistake by inflicting a heavy blow on their decision, Gammanpila said.

Minister Udaya Gammanpila further said, The intelligent people of this country will decide whether it is I or Sagara Kariyawasama who should resign from their post”.

The Energy Minister also revealed that many senior members of SLPP had informed him that there had been no internal party decision to issue such a statement against him. Further, neither party leader Mahinda Rajapaksa nor party chairman Prof. G. L. Peiris had been aware of such a statement, he added.

Thereby, Gammanpila says that he challenges Kariyawasam to reveal the names of the senior members of SLPP who took part in making a decision to issue the relevant statement.

Further, Gammanpila also publicly challenged Kariyawasam to a public debate if he is able to prove that Gammanpila is behind the country’s energy crisis.

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