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Sri Lanka cannot be developed without first stamping out corruption - Somawansa Amerasinghe

JVP leader Somawansa Amerasinghe yesterday said that his party has consistently supported the defeat of terrorism.

"At no time did we attempt to topple the government tackling the scourge of terrorism and we have always voted in support of the Emergency and Defence budge", he noted.

"This is because the country and the people are near and dear to us and no one need to worry as the valiant security forces are about to deal the final blow to defeat terrorism", he said.

The Peoples Liberation Front (JVP) leader was reponding to a question posed by The Sunday Island on why the party was carrying out propaganda against the Government despite President Mahinda Rajapaksa calling upon them to unite at this crucial time in the national interest.

Senior presidential advisor Basil Rajapaksa has also expressed his gratitude for support extended by the JVP in the past and made overtures to the Marxists that the government is ready to work together.

Amerasinghe said the security forces, amidst many sacrifices, are on the verge of eradicating terrorism. "We want the government to see sense and understand that the country cannot be developed without first stamping out corruption".

"We have always supported and spoken out against any moves to bring pressure to bear on the government, be it any local or international forces, to halt the military drive against terrorism", he said. "At no time have we deserted them in times of trouble".

"We have done a lot for the people. We have been successful in steering the government along the correct path. Let us wait and see what they are going to do".

Amarasinghe said that if the government had stamped out corruption, that itself would have been good for the country. Even if terrorism is rooted out, it cannot develop as long as corruption prevails in the government.

The security forces cannot develop the country – they can only defeat terrorism. How many Ministers are there and if they are really serious of development, there must be a programme to bring prosperity to the country, the JVP leader noted.

"If the Government is really serious about development, it could have developed the other seven provinces before developing the East and the North".

"Today our own citizens are sacrificing their lives for the country at the front-line while dishonest persons who have become Ministers are robbing the country. If the Government is serious about developing the country to usher in prosperity, it must have a vision and not such a big Cabinet comprising of many who are corrupt", he charged.

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