Chief Opposition Whip, Attorney-at-Law, Lakshman Kiriella emphasized that the Government should immediately convene the closed Parliament to find solutions after discussing the crisis situation in the country.
Lakshman Kiriella who warned that otherwise there would be no country left to do at least politics, also alarmed that it is the responsibility of all citizens to protect the country, regardless of who governs.
Speaking at a press conference held at the office of the Opposition leader at Sir Marcus Fernando Mawatha, Colombo 07 on Monday (03 ), further stated that.
There are no dollars in the country today. The farming community is in trouble. As the problems of the country increase day by day, including the rising prices of essential commodities, Parliament should be convened immediately without closing down.
The country's official foreign exchange reserves have been reduced from 8000 billion to 1.2 billion. We are questioning how that happened. Even though we asked about this during the budget debate, we did not get an answer. The Minister of Finance was not in Parliament. When the government of Good Governance came to power in 2015, our national income was 1000 billion. But when we handed over the government we increased the national income to 2000 billion. There were 8000 billion foreign reserves. But today the foreign reserves have come down to 1.2 billion.
We lost Rs.800 billion annual revenue since the Government granted tax reliefs which helped them in the Presidential and General Elections. That is the main reason for the economic crisis today. Not the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to all these problems our country is facing a major economic crisis today.
No dollars today. No gas. No milk powder. The farming community is in trouble. There are fuel problems. The prices of essential commodities have gone up. But despite all these problems, the Government closed down the Parliament. If so, Parliament should be convened more often when there are issues. But today Parliament is closed. Because if the Parliament is opened, the Government would not be able to answer the questions raised by the Opposition. That is why Parliament is closed. There is no other reason without it.
We ask the Government to convene Parliament immediately. We have only Parliament to speak against the injustice faced by the people. I clearly say the collapse of the government is one thing. But we cannot tolerate the country being sunk into the abyss day by day. Because we are citizens of this country. Whoever rules, we are here to protect the country. Convene Parliament immediately.
Today everyone is asking how to pay off debts. The group including the Podujana Peramuna for 20 years since 1994. It was this group that obtained 80% of the loans which we owed today. Remember that well. Most of these loans have been obtained from private banks. Since private banks are not concerned about how the loans are used. When loans are obtained from the International Organization, they find out how loans are spent. Especially loans obtained from private banks from 2007. Those loans were spent on projects like Hambantota Port and the Lotus Tower which do not generate a penny. Now these people have to pay this debt.
The Government is now planning to sell 15 to 20 lands in Colombo. 07 acres of land in Bogambara, Kandy is for sale. During our time we had planned the Kandy city for the people to spend their day. We were to receive assistance from Japan. But the present Government has left the Bogambara playground for sale. But under the “Vision of Prosperity” they pledged that they will not sell anything in the country. They said that they will take back what others have sold.
Also the question of oil tanks. Today they are trying to close the Parliament and to sign agreements. Is this correct? Parliament needs to know these agreements. The Yugadanav agreement was not presented to Parliament. I requested this agreement several times. But we did not get it. Table these agreements in Parliament. We need to know about this. Therefore, open Parliament immediately. We cannot allow this to happen when there are problems in the country. We need to talk about these.
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