UNP flays govt. for ‘sending 60,000 soldiers home without pension’

Warns Government it may face Egypt like situ



by Zacki Jabbar


The UNP on Thursday (Feb. 3) alleged that the government was planning to terminate the services of about 60,000 officers and men without even providing them with a pension.


Addressing the media in Colombo, Kurunegala District UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera accused what he called an ungrateful Mahinda Rajapaksa regime of discarding those who had valiantly fought for the country. Jayasekera said that it was a crime to deprive 60,000 army personnel of their pension rights.


The UNPer lashed out at the government for what he called shabby treatment meted out to Gen. Sarath Fonseka, who had successfully spearheaded the battle against the LTTE.


MP Jayasekera said that the army had been forced to sell vegetables, instead of performing its proper role.


Accusing the government of failing to take tangible measures to control the rising cost of living, MP Jayasekera warned that the Rajapaksa regime could face a situation similar to that in Egypt, where Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak was under pressure to quit. The public were struggling to make ends meet, while the government squandered taxpayers’ money on tamashas and for the upkeep of ruling party politicians, Jayasekera alleged asking the Rajapaksa to stop boasting of its war victory over the LTTE almost two years after the conclusion of the war. He said the people were hungry and they did not want to hear Rajapaksa’s old records.


The UNP would hold a candle light vigil at Punchi Borella today (Feb. 4) to pressure the government to release Gen. Fonseka, Jayasekera from prison, Jayasekera said adding that the UNP had decided to boycott Independence Day celebrations to register their protest against politically motivated imprisonment of a war hero.


Jayasekera ridiculed the government for harassing the former Army Chief, while the LTTE’s former arms procurer Kumaran Pathmanathan aka ‘KP’ was living in luxury. The MP described ‘KP’ as the government’s blue eyed boy.


The UNP could defeat the government at the March 17 elections to 301 local government bodies, MP Jayasekera said claiming that the UNP’s campaign had been well received at the grassroots level and the party was confident of achieving a resounding victory.


Jayasekera said: "The people are rallying round the UNP as the government has failed to resolve their economic problems. Accordingly our campaign theme has been entitled - Let’s Bring About Change - Let’s Rebuild The Country." The attack on Lanka-e-news demonstrated the plight of the Sri Lankan media today. The government had stepped up attacks on the independent media as part of its strategy to suppress the Opposition, he said.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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