Professionals should not act like common thugs – Harsha


* You canno’t elimnate people for criticising wrong government policies
* Economy doing reasonably well but questions of sustainability etc remainby Zacki Jabbar

Professionals should not act like thugs and the right to be critical of ill-conceived government policies should be protected at any cost,the UNP’s National List MP Harsha de Silva said yesterday.

He told The Island that it was appalling to see professionals behave like common criminals and call for the elimination of those who exercised their democratic right to freedom of speech.

"There has to be an end to the culture of eliminating people who speak against injustice and lawlessness," Dr. de Silva said. "One would have thought that with the culmination of the war, the democratic rights of the masses would prevail. But, unfortunately things are getting worse and dictatorial in nature."

De Silva said that by being critical of wrong government policies, he was playing the legitimate role required of him as an Opposition parliamentarian. "Unfortunately, the UNP and the Opposition are divided and fighting each other, instead of taking on the ruling party with a view to correcting it in the interest of the country."

Good governance, ethics and transparency are being sacrificed for political expediency. The Central Bank, which should be setting the standards, was violating its own codes by trading in bank shares and justifies it by trotting out  various lame excuses, Dr. de Silva said.

Asked for his views on the state of the Sri Lankan economy, de Silva said that it was doing reasonably well on the back of an Asian upturn, however serious questions remained about sustainability in the medium to long term.

Singapore, China and India, had recorded growth figures of between 20 to 10 per cent, but Sri Lanka’s performance in comparison borders on the average, despite the end of a near 30-year war. Dr. de Silva said.

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