GL points to failures in all sectors during last 5 months


By Shamindra Ferdinando

Former External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris has said that the last five months of the minority UNP government was nothing but a preview of what the UNP administration would look like if elected.

Asserting that the electorate would never want to experience such an administration, Prof. Peiris said the Aug. 17 parliamentary poll would give voters an opportunity to choose a government capable of addressing their needs. The former Minister was addressing an audience at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute (SLFI) organised by the ‘Voice of Intellectuals and Professionals.’

Prof. Peiris is on the UPFA’s National List.

The distinguished academic said that since the change of government consequent to the January 8 presidential election, there had been a total breakdown witnessed in every sector of the country. The accelerated development projects had suffered a severe setback; the former law professor said, adding that the UNP deprived approximately 150,000 of employment, mostly in the construction sector.

The rapid depreciation of the rupee and drying up of  investments had caused a catastrophic situation, he said.

Accusing the UNP of sabotaging the 20 Amendment to the Constitution, Prof. Peiris pointed out the futility of having an adjournment debate on the electoral reforms consequent to having issued a gazette notification under the name of the Prime Minister. He pointed out that the UNP sought the opinion of different political parties represented in last parliament after issuing the gazette notification.

Commenting on the mini-budget presented by the Maithripala Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration, the author of about a dozen law text books yet in use said that the UNP lacked the required parliamentary majority to implement its proposals, hence revenue couldn’t be raised.

Prof. Peiris alleged that the on-going witch hunt had shaken the public sector. He said that over 750 officials had been questioned so far and were under tremendous pressure. The government action had been meant to harass them, the former minister said.

However, in the case of alleged Central Bank fraud, the government had been working overtime to cover up the illegal transaction, Prof. Peiris said.

The Rhodes Scholar ridiculed the attempt to supress the truth by moving the court against the release of a dossier of evidence collected by a 13-member parliamentary group that investigated the CB deal. "We’ll present all facts before the people in the run-up to the poll. Let people decide whether to retain the UNP or bring back the previous administration."

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