"If the country is locked down, the economy will be destroyed. If not, human lives will be destroyed. Will the government choose the economy or the lives of the people?"Samagi Jana Balawegaya Kandy district Parliamentarian Attorney at Law, Lakshman Kiriella questioned in the Parliament.
He emphasized that we would have got down COVID-19 vaccine from India if we did not antagonize India and this problem could be solved not by mussels but by the head.
Joining the adjournment debate of the Parliament, Attorney at-Law Lakshman Kiriella further stated……………………,
Mr. Bandula Gunawardena called for the support of the Opposition in today's speech. But when we look at the way the government treats our MPs, we have issues from the public as well. Frankly, today MP Rishard Badurdeen has become an iron pole to be thrown out when thundering. Mr. Rishard Badurdeen is put forward when the problems of the country cannot be solved , when the mastermind of the Easter Sunday attack cannot be found. Everyone talks about him.
How can we support the government when it acts in this manner? The other thing is that the government asks for our support when the government is stuck amidst problems. The government requested our support after the election? Then the 20th amendment was brought arbitrarily. Was our consent sought?
When good governance came to power, we had only 45 MPs. But we got the support of the Opposition to bring 19th Amendment. But the present government has been acting arbitrarily since it came to power. A select committee was not appointed to draft the Constitution. Constitutions are made using the personal Lawyers of the leaders of the government. Is this work right? I ask Minister Bandula Gunawardena to appoint a select committee in Parliament and seek our support in the correct way. Otherwise we are not ready to support these political decisions.
It was our Leader who spoke about COVID in the Parliament first. It was on January 4th and February 5th. But you laughed at him that day. The countries that closed their airports in January have escaped the pandemic today. Those countries are New Zealand and Taiwan. However, our country was kept open until the nominations were called to conduct the election. The Hon. President questioned whether the airport should be closed if the number of patients was 27. Is it right?
These are all political decisions. We say we support health professional decisions. But we do not support political decisions. What happened to Piliyandala? The Director of Health Services instructed Piliyandala to be closed. But someone opened it. These are political decisions.
Hon. Prime Minister, Bogambara of Kandy was closed. We had made plans to develop Bogambara. But we did not know, 500 COVID patients were brought there from all over the country. Then workers in the Mahaiyawa area entered Bogambara for cleaning. .The disease spread throughout the city. Ududumbara, Bambarabedda is a remote village. 150 COVID patients had been detected from that village. There are only 400 families in this village. Look at this situation. We are ready to support. But there should be a plan. This is our country. We would also like to support. Our children also live in this country. Our children have not obtained American citizenship. Hon. Prime Minister, why are you seeking our support? You said that the vaccine will be brought. But could not be brought. The government should tell us why it needs our support.
Minister Bandula Gunawardena spoke about the lock down. We do not say that the country should be locked down. But we have to keep that idea in our mind. We cannot totally reject it. I accept the argument that if the country is locked down there will be an economic disaster. Otherwise there will be a health disaster. What do we choose? Economic disaster? Or Health disaster?
The Hon. Prime Minister is here. I would like to ask you, where is the vaccine? Hon. Speaker, Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi says that the importation of vaccines has been commenced. It's been one and half years now. What has she been doing for so long? That is why we say that we are ready to support professional decisions but not political decisions. The people of Israel paid double the price and reserved the vaccine. Today every citizen of that country had been vaccinated. But our government has not even ordered the vaccine yet. I challenge you to show me from where you ordered the vaccines.
Today random testing had been stopped in Kandy. There is oxygen in Peradeniya and Kandy hospitals. But they do not have the relevant equipment. The government that won 148 seats in the Parliament thought that everything could be done. You thought that you do not need the opposition. But our support is sought when the government gets stuck.
Political revenge committees were appointed. The government tried to deprive the civic rights of our leaders. The government seeks our support while doing these things. Then a task force was appointed. It has marginalized the professionals. Minister Sudarshani Fernandopulle has been talking about a lock down for three months. If not, she talks about locking down the country at the provincial level. I mean, if the whole country cannot be locked down, the government has not been able to prevent the spread of the disease at least by locking down at the provincial level. The government is really "Fail". The government should accept this failure. Even Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has admitted that he failed. Although the vaccine was made in India, he could not give the vaccine to the people soon.
The other thing is that we antagonized neighboring India. No matter how much you say no, there are problems. There have been leaders in our country from the time of Mr. Senanayake. But not a single leader allowed the world's superpowers to invade our country. But today we have allowed it. The regional power is India. Will India not be angry with us if China is allowed to spread their power in our country? Why was China allowed to enter Sri Lanka? If we fail to repay the loan, the port city will be looted by China.
Then won't India be angry with us ?. India has issues with countries like Pakistan, China and Nepal. But India did not have problems with us. But now we've done that. If India was in good terms, we would have got the vaccine.
We would like to tell the Prime Minister to seek our support in a formal and correct manner. But our support can’t be gained by intimidating us, taking political revenge and appointing commissions. Honorable Speaker look at the COVID Task Force. Doctors are cornered. How can Doctors work from a corner? These problems should be solved from the head. Not by the mussels”
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