Clearing Vanni or corruption cause for debt to rise by Rs.4.8 trillion? – Ranil


by Zacki Jabbar

The Rajapaksa government had to clear only the Vanni after 2005, since the UNP and UPFA under Chandrika Kumaratunga had defeated the LTTE in the East and Jaffna, but national debt as at 2005 beginning from 1948, stood at only Rs.1.8 trillion, the UNP said yesterday.

Leader of the UNP Ranil Wickremesinghe addressing the 46th Anniversary Celebrations of the government Printing Services Union at Sirikotha, noted that the UNP had also a fought a war, while implementing massive projects in the hydro,power,garments and housing sectors, but was never caught in the Rajapaksa debt trap which had placed the country in an unprecedented economic mess,which even unborn generations would not be able to clear.

"We secured the East and also destroyed the backbone of the Sea Tigers. The UPFA under Chandrika Kumaratunga also had to fight the war and defeated the LTTE in Jaffna. But when she left office in 2005, the total accumulated debt since independence was only Rs.1.8 trillion," Wickremesinghe pointed out querying if loans to the tune of Rs.4.8 trillion had been obtained to chase the LTTE cadres out of the Vanni, build a few highways and carpet some roads.

The answer, Wickremesinghe said was "stinking corruption" and it was starting the powers that be in the face but they carried on regardlessl after having abolished the 17th Amendment to the Constitution,which could have acted as a buffer against corruption, crime and lawlessness.

While the nations resources were being plundered, the government acting on the advice of its highly paid whiz kids, Wickremesinghe observed was trying to wipe out the Rs. 6.6 trillion debt by regualarly imposing taxes on essential goods and services,which had resulted in the masses being thrown from the frying pan into the fire.

Despite repeated election pledges public servants had received only one salary increase of Rs. 600 during the last eight years, the UNP leader said adding that Rs. 1200 allowances were meaningless with inflation around nine percent.

The Chairman of the UNP Leadership Council, Karu Jayasuriya said that the budgets of many UPFA controlled local councils had been defeated because their very own members were sick of the extent to which state resources were being robbed.

With corruption engulfing the entire government from top downwards, there was no one to bell the cat. That was why it was essential to re-establish the Independent Bribery and Corruption, Public and Judicial Services Commission among others, without any further delay, Jayasuriya stressed.

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