‘I will not allow a handful to hinder govt’s progressive steps’ – PM

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said he would not allow a handful of persons to hinder the progressive steps initiated by the government. He was addressing a meeting with Colombo District UNP organisers at Temple Trees yesterday.

The Prime Minister observed the people gave a mandate for President Maithripala Sirisena on January 8 to produce the thieves before court, investigate corruption charges and implement the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. He said if those in the current Parliament are against these moves, the people would be given the chance to elect a fresh Parliament to carry forward these missions.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said the government is not ready to halt moves initiated by the government to strengthen good governance and democracy in the country.

Ranil-Wickramasinghe (1)He said the freedom of speech has been restored in the country, adding that “now there is freedom for anybody even to shout not to bring him before the Bribery Commission”.

“One important thing we have done is that we bought back to the ground the swollen-headed people who had long forgotten the people and Parliament over the past years. We made them sleep on the carpet of Parliament for one night. Not just that, we would also wipe out the remnants of the Rajapaksa regime completely during the next election,” he said.

The Prime Minister expressed confidence that all forces behind the victory of President Sirisena at the previous election would join hand for this endeavour too.

“We must bring into Parliament the representatives who respect the people. Those in Parliament should not cover up the thieves. Why fear so much to face the law? Why does former President Rajapaksa hesitate to give his statement to the Commission? Law should be equal to everybody,” he said.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe pointed out that the cost of living has been brought down and the first step has been taken to built an economy that represents the common man replacing the economy that represents the upper class.

He also noted a society where all communities could live in harmony has been built by ensuring the national unity. He opined that for the first time massive work had been undertaken within a 100 days.

Justice Minister Wijayadasa Rajapakshe pointed out the country has come to a critical juncture political wise, adding that the time has come for all the political parties set aside their political divisions and support the 19th Amendment. He noted it would be a great service on behalf of the people.

“Parliament is a legislative body. For the first time in history, it was abused to protect thieves. This shows their political bankruptcy,” he said.

Rajapakshe pointed out the people at an upcoming election would decide to chase out those who oppose the 19th Amendment, adding that anybody who opposes this critical Bill is an anti-patriot.

He was of the opinion that bringing in electoral reforms together with the 19th Amendment was not practical.

Ministers Ravi Karunanayake, Dr Harsha de Silva, Eran Wickremaratne and Rosy Senanayake were also present.

Friday, Apr 24, 2015