Navin: Present-day leaders intolerant of dissent


Plantation Industries Minister Navin Dissanayake says the present day political leaders do not entertain dissent in the Cabinet and did not like the ministers who tell the truth.

Addressing the launching of the Kaprukata Arunalu project at Rasnayakepura in Kurunegala, Minister Dissanayake his late said father former Mahaweli Minister Gamini Dissanayake had expressed dissent when the late President J. R. Jayewardene sought Cabinet approval to deprive SLFP leader Sirimavo Bandaranaike of her civic rights.

"The argument became so tense that President Jayewardene threatened to sack my father from the Cabinet. But, then my father pointed out to him that it was not in the party’s interest and the action to be taken against Mrs Bandaranaike was wrong. Gamini Dissanayake had the backbone to say so and remain a minister because there was freedom in the Cabinet then. But, today there are some leaders do not tolerate dissent. The present day leaders do not like ministers telling the truth and fighting for what is right. It is sad."

Minister Dissanayake said the present government had been able to put an end to corruption and frauds committed by the previous regime.

"Only six months have passed since I assumed duties as the Minister of Plantation Industries. I have plans and a vision to improve the plantation sector. It will put them into action gradually. The Kaprukata Arunalu project is aimed at improving the coconut cultivation and uplifting the living conditions of coconut growers. Under this project we will introduce the latest technology to improve coconut plantations, soil management, fertilizer use, water supply management t and post harvest management

Among those present were Secretary to the Ministry of Plantations Industries Upali Marasinghe, Chairman of the Coconut Cultivation Board, Kapila Yakandawala, Chairman of the Coconut Research Institute Jayantha Jayawardena, Chairman of the Coconut Development Authority Udaya Rupasinghe and other senior officials of the Ministry.

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