Govt. strangely silent on Kachchathivu Island ownership – Ravi



* Did Shangrila pay US$ 75 mn or US$ 125 mn for Army Hq land?


*Only Rs.200 mn for 1.3 mn flood victims


*Rs.450 mn for PR firm to promote Hambantota as C’wealth Games venue.


by Zacki Jabbar


Amidst the controversy over 136 Indian fisherman being detained in Jaffna, the UNP yesterday questioned the Rajapaksa government’s ‘stoic silence’ on the disputed Kachathivu Island.


Colombo District UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake, addressing a news conference in Colombo, said that certain Indian politicians kept claiming that the Kachathivu Island belonged to them, but the Rajapaksa regime maintains a deafening silence on the issue.


Kachathivu Island, he said, belongs to Sri Lanka and a firm stand rejecting the illegal claim was required.


The government had failed on all fronts and was now messing up with the country’s foreign policy too, Karunanayake said.


Commenting on the high cost of living, he said that the price of essential food items have gone up nearly four fold since the SLFP led People’s Alliance came to power on April 2, 2004.


"On April 2, 2004 a basket of essential goods, comprising a kilogram each of rice, milk powder, sugar, dhal, lentils, red onions a loaf of bread, one coconut, one bottle of coconut oil, one egg and one tin of fish, cost a total of Rs.780. However today,Rs.2,840 is required to purchase all these items."


Karunanayake alleged that the Rajapaksa regime has asked Lanka IOC to be patient, until after the Local Government Elections, to increase petrol prices.


While only Rs. 200 million has been allocated for over 1.3 million flood victims, the Rajapaksa regime has paid a foreign Public Relations firm Rs. 450 million to promote Hambantota as the venue for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, he said.


Karunanayake also queried the basis on which the 12-acre plot of land, on which the Army headquarters was situated, had been evaluated and sold to Shangrila.


The Deputy Economic Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena first claimed that six acres were sold for US$ 75 million and subsequently increased the figure to US$ 125 million for the entire 12-acre plot. The tax paying public have a right to know the truth, he said.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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