GL: Have you heard of a minister contradicting PM in public before?


By Shamindra Ferdinando

Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Chairman Prof. G.L. Peiris said that the May Day Cabinet reshuffle hadn’t brought about any stability.

Instead, the government was causing further chaos, Prof. Peiris said, adding that never ending crises triggered by the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration seemed deliberate, but it wasn’t the case.

Prof. Peiris called the coalition a government of confusion.

The former External Affairs Minister told The Island that UNP leader and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe declaration at UNP May Day event on May 6, at the Sugathadasa indoor stadium, that the Samurdhi Bank would be brought under the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) had revealed the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration lacked direction. "They never had any basic idea about public needs," Prof. Peiris said, adding that heavy drubbing received at Feb. 10 local government polls had paralysed the government.

Prof. Peiris said that he was both shocked and surprised that Wickremesinghe had made such a declaration without consulting the Central Bank and relevant ministries. Had the PM done so, the CBSL would have informed him of the mechanism already in place to supervise the Samurdhi Bank.

Prof. Peiris, who is also top JO spokesman, pointed out that there hadn’t been a recent previous instance of a minister contradicting the PM. Close on the heels of Wickremesinghe’s declaration, Social Empowerment Minister P. Harrison ruled out that possibility while the CBSL, too, reassured the public Samurdhi Bank wouldn’t be brought under it.

Having perpetrated treasury bond scams with Perpetual Treasuries Limited (PTL) in 2015 and 2016, the UNP was pursuing an agenda inimical to the entire financial sector, Prof. Peiris said.

Commenting on alleged death threats to Indian investor K.P. Nagaraj, whose complaint led to the arrest of President Maithripala Sirisena’s Chief of Staff, Dr. I.H.K. Mahanama and State Timber Corporation Chairman, P. Dissanayake on May 3, Prof. Peiris asked who would want to invest here when massive bribes were solicited and investors threatened with death.

The Indian High Commission in Colombo wouldn’t have been happy about the situation, Prof. Peiris said, urging the government to take tangible measures to restore law and order.

Prof. Peiris lambasted the government decision to allow glyphosate imports for tea and rubber plantations. SLPP Chairman said queried how the government could prevent other users from obtaining glyphospate once stocks were brought in. Urging the government to review its strategies, Prof. Peiris pointed out the absurdity of trying to work out a formula for kerosene subsidy for the fishing community after increasing fuel prices.

animated gif
Processing Request
Please Wait...