Nimal praises ITN, lashes out at govt.

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva, MP, yesterday challenged the new government to prove allegations against members of the previous administration so that anyone found guilty by a court of law could be deprived of an opportunity to contest next parliamentary election.

The new government and various interested parties had made a spate of accusations at different forums and lodged complaints with the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption, MP de Silva said.

The government couldn’t tarnish the SLFP-led UPFA’s image by propagating lies, the former Leader of the House told The Island, adding that the present Opposition coalition couldn’t be intimidated by a vilification campaign.

The Opposition Leader urged the government and ‘self-appointed crusaders for good governance and accountability’ to prove at least one corruption case without further delay. He recollected that the then Opposition members producing heaps of documents during live television debates claiming that they could prove what they claimed were proof of UPFA corruption.

Commenting on former DIG Vass Gunawardena’s wife, Shayamali’s recent complaint to the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption as regards former first lady Shiranthi conspiring to sell 100 kilos of gold belonging to the treasury, MP de Silva said that a shameful attempt was made to bring the former first family into disrepute.

Praising the state-run ITN for inviting him for Thursday morning live political interview (Jan. 29) to respond to various allegations directed against the SLFP and explain its stand on important issues, MP de Silva admitted that the previous government had deprived the then Opposition of such an opportunity. MP de Silva said that the previous Opposition hadn’t been invited for the morning programme. The MP urged the ITN to create a level playing field to ensure the other political parties, too, received an opportunity to address the masses.

Another SLFP MP Dilan Perera was on Rupavahini at the same time.

When the ITN interviewer sought the Opposition Leader’s views on former SLFP National Organiser and Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa leaving the country close on the heels of the presidential poll defeat, the MP said: "You should ask Basil Rajapaksa." When he was pressed for an answer, the Opposition Leader said: "Basil Rajapaksa was previously with the late Gamini Dissanayake."

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