Mangala defends PM, claims  many MPs living on drug money



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by Saman Indrajith


UNP Matara District MP Mangala Samaraweera yesterday accused many parliamentarians of living on the income from selling heroin and other narcotics.


Samaraweera, participating in the third reading stage debate, on budget 2014, under the expenditure heads of 23 ministries and the Secretariat for Special Purposes (Senior Ministers), said that Prime Minister DM Jayaratne was neither a drug peddler nor a thief.


He said that issuing a letter requesting a demurrage waiver for a container, too, was not something wrong or illegal.


"There is a witch-hunt against the seniors of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party today. There is a mudslinging campaign in the media against the Prime Minister with the blessings of the very top people in the government. The Bodu Bala Sena is attacking the PM. The Hela Urumaya is also attacking him. Sending a letter seeking demurrage waiver for a container was not something illegal. When I was the minister of Ports,


I, too, received letters daily seeking such concessions. Even the President, as an MP then, made similar requests. I have received so many letters from lot of other parliamentarians. Not that we gave relief to all of them. Only if the Minister of Ports approve the concessions, it could be given. The letter in question only says that if a demurrage waiver could be granted the sender would be grateful on behalf of the Prime Minister. Now, these people are trying to make a big issue of this request", Samarawwera said, adding "Prime Minister DM Jayaratne has been known to me for a long time. He is no drug peddler. Nor is he a thief. There are so many of those in this Parliament who live by the heroin business. I am not going to mention their names."


UPFA National List MP AHM Azwer: There is a point of order. MP Samaraweera says there are drug dealers in this august assembly. He cannot make such statements.


Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa: "When MP Samaraweera says that in Parliament, he, too, is within that lot."


MP Samaraweera: Now there is an investigation into the letter seeking the release of the container. But, there is no investigation to find out who was going to distribute that consignment and where it was meant to be distributed. If the Prime Minister is responsible for a letter signed by his coordinating secretary and resigns, then the politician whose coordinating secretary Dhammika Premalal Raigama attempted to sell an artifact for Rs. 350 million should resign forthwith.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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