“If a deal is being made, a contract is given, and percentages are already allocated. 5 % for the minister, so much for the ministry secretary, so much for somebody else, all of that is established, systemised That is why the youth of the country are saying, “System Change”. -MA Sumanthiran MP

(Text of Speech made in Parliament by Jaffna District TNA Parliamentarian MA Sumanthiran on 05th December 2022 )

Thank you Hon. Chairman of Committees.

Out of those 26 minutes that I have, I will speak for 20 minutes, the balance 6 minutes will be taken by Hon. Govinthan Karunakaram. I am glad that both Ministers whose ministries are being discussed at the committee today are present in the chambers, Ports, Shipping and Aviation; and Justice, Constitutional Affairs and Prison Reforms.

I have seen a report that Sri Lankan Airlines in the 1st half of the Financial year 22/23 had lost 112.8 Billion rupees. That’s the losses made in the first half of the Financial year on 22/23, now that includes the forex losses also. Nevertheless that’s a staggering figure, and that every month we keep making these losses and the State absorbs this. I am mentioning the figure because the cost of having an election is only 11 Billion, and whenever we talk about an election the defence is taken. “how can we afford an election?”

One month’s loss of Sri Lankan Airlines is more than the cost of having an election. So, that is not an argument, you keep making these losses and then you say how can we hold an election? Fundamental to the functioning of a democracy is periodic elections; one might say, “Well, the Parliament has a mandate for 5 years, and why are you asking for an election now?”

I wish to draw the attention of both Hon. Ministers today; by your own very conduct you conceded to the country that this parliament has lost its mandate. A few months ago both of you crossed the floor, and came and sat in the opposition.

You conceded that the Parliament had lost its mandate; the election which gave a near two thirds majority to the government at that time was lost. Subsequently you were both given ministerial portfolio and you have crossed back to the government side, taken the cabinet post, and you are both in the front row now.

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