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Failed govt, not failed State – SJB leader 

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By Saman Indrajith

Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa yesterday denied that he had used the term ‘failed state’ in his speech.

He argued it was the government that had failed and not the state.

After delivering his speech in the third reading debate on budget 2021, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said that it was wrong to use the term ‘failed state’ and that it would be expunged from the Hansard record of yesterday’s proceedings.

Speaker Abeywardena: You mentioned the word ‘failed state’. We will expunge that from the Hansard record.

Opposition Leader Premadasa: I did not say so. What I said was a ‘failed government’. This is a failed, inept and incompetent government. I never call my country a ‘failed state’. (inaudible as his mic was switched off)

Who is switching off the mic? Is there anyone who took the Reverse tablet in that room controlling microphones? I did not mention it as a failed state. So, you cannot expunge what I said. Please understand the difference between failed government and failed state. I know my English. This is ludicrous.

MP Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam: On what ground the term ‘failed state’ is expunged? There are no provisions in the Standing Orders for that. The concept of ‘failed state’ is an opinion. It is how we see and describe a state. There is nothing wrong with that term. It cannot be expunged from Hansard.

Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera: It is only natural that a TNA MP is supporting the Opposition Leader on this score. This is what they want to see. They want to call our country a failed state.

Opposition Leader Premadasa: I am surprised by the utter ignorance displayed by the government members. Ignorance should not be permitted in this House.

Speaker Abeywardena: Yes, and it should be applicable to everybody.



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Avishka and Sadeera power Jaffna Kings to nine wicket win

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Half tons by Avishka Fernando and Sadeera Samarawickrema powered Jaffna Kings to a nine wicket win over Dambulla giants in the 3rd match of the LPL at MRICS Hambanthota on Wednesday (07)

Dambulla Giants 121/9 in 20 overs (Jordan Cox 43; Maheesh Theekshana 3/20, Vijayakanth Vijaskanth 3/24, James Fuller 2/16, Zaman Khan 1/28)

Jaffna Kings 122/1 in 15.4 overs (Avishka Fernando 51 , Sadeera Samarawickrema 62 not out; Noor Ahamed 1/28)

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Govt. says selling state assets only way to build reserves and prevent crippling shortages

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By Rathindra Kuruwita

Cabinet spokesman Minister Bandula Gunawardena yesterday (06) said Sri Lanka wouldn’t be in a position to be part of the international trading system unless it boosted its foreign reserves by selling some of its assets. Gunawardena, who also holds media and transport portfolios said so at yesterday’s post-Cabinet press briefing.

Responding to a query about the government’s decision to divest vital national assets, the Minister said that if Sri Lanka did not shore up its reserves to the tune of over three billion dollars, international companies would not accept the letters of credit given by Sri Lankan banks.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his capacity as the Finance Minister, has proposed privatising of several state enterprises including Sri Lanka Insurance and Sri Lanka Telecom.

“Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga sold a number of state owned enterprises. If we don’t increase our reserves, to over three billion USD soon, we will have problems importing fuel, and other essential items. Last week, Fitch again reduced our rating. No matter who governs Sri Lanka, they will all face the same problem. We need to build our reserves,” the Minister said.

Minister Gunawardane said that the need of the hour was to sell some assets and boost Sri Lanka’s reserves.

“China, India, Vietnam, and Malaysia are attracting a lot of investors. Only we have failed to do so, and we need to think why this is. Even our entrepreneurs are leaving for other countries. We need to change the way we think, if we want to attract investors to Sri Lanka,” he said.

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Ven Siridhamma, Mudalige granted bail; latter re-arrested

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Convenor of Bhikku Balamandalaya affiliated Inter University Students Federation (IUSF) Ven. Galwewa Siridhamma Thera leaving Court yesterday (06) after Kaduwela Magistrate Chanima Wijebandara granted him bail. The Thera was held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act for causing damages to public property during a protest opposite the Education Ministry, over three months back. The Magistrate ordered the Thera released after the police failed to identify the monk at an identification parade. However, IUSF Convenor Wasanatha Mudalige, who was also released by the Magistrate, after the police couldn’t identify him, was taken into custody in connection with some other case.

Pics by Kamal Bogoda

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