JO believes in Rajitha’s version on SF appointment

Forex Bill approval subject to amendments


By Shamindra Ferdinando

The Joint Opposition yesterday alleged that a feeble attempt was now being made to save President Maithripala Sirisena of embarrassment for proposing Regional Development Minister Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka as head of security apparatus to deal with trade unions.

Chairman of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna and top JO spokesman Prof. G. L. Peiris yesterday said that the government was working overtime to deny cabinet spokesman Dr Rajitha Senaratne’s statement pertaining to the Field Marshal’s proposed appointment.

Addressing the media at a Punchi Borella temple, the former External Affairs Minister pointed out that whatever Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and various ministers said in and out of parliament regarding President Maithripala Sirisena’s alleged proposal, Dr Senaratne never retracted his original statement.

Prof. Peiris said the JO eagerly awaited what Dr Senaratne had to say on his return from overseas.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe contradicted Dr Senaratne in parliament on Wednesday in response to a series of questions raised by JVP MP Vijitha Herath.

Pointing out that co cabinet spokesperson Minister Gayantha Karunatilleke and Deputy Media Minister Karu Paranavithana, who had been present at the post-cabinet media briefing when Dr. Senaratne made the original statement, too, never contradicted that, Prof. Peiris dismissed some SLFP ministers calling the President’s proposal a joke.

Prof. Peiris said some SLFP ministers had been repeatedly humiliated by the UNP. Referring to recent degrading public attacks on Labour Minister John Seneviratne over Field Marshal’s matter, Prof. Peiris regretted the SLFP continued to be publicly humiliated.

Commenting on a spate of new appointments made by the SLFP leadership, the former minister said the new faces had been brought in at the expense of experienced organisers much to the disappointment of the electorate.

The former law professor said that the reportage of Supreme Court ruling on Foreign Exchange Bill hadn’t been factual. Prof. Peiris pointed out that the Supreme Court had recommended amendments to the Bill. It had been declared consistent with the Constitution subjected to the amendments as recommended by the Supreme Court, Prof. Peiris said, citing specific amendments. Prof. Peiris underscored that the proposed Bill hadn’t been endorsed by the Supreme Court as propagated.

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