Previous govt sold national assets for a pittance – PM

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said the good governance (Yahapalana) government failed to implement any programme for the development of the country and their only objective was to sell national resources to other countries.

Meanwhile, speaking at another SLPP election rally in Moneragala Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said he had appointed a committee to investigate the demolition of a building with archaeological value in Kurunegala. The Prime Minister said he will not hesitate to punish anyone irrespective of status if found to have done any wrongdoing in connection with the incident.

The Prime Minister said unlike the previous UNP government his government will always take action to protect sites with archaeological value.

The Prime Minister said they had taken action to sell national resources of the people of this country and their children for a pittance and highlighted the fact that no one has the right to sell what belongs to the nation. He said this addressing an election rally in Mahiyanagana on Saturday(18).

“By now we have commenced the development drive that is needed by the country. We are looking forward to carry on the development programmes we initiated. None of the drinking water projects we started or any other project had progressed in the recent past. When we came to power in 2005 and lost that power in 2015, none of the projects that were started were implemented during the period of 2015-2019. And no new programmes were begun during that period. They had no other purpose than to sell resources of our nation,” he said. Moreover he added that the good governance government plotted to sell the Hambantota port, airport and expressways. And they succeeded in selling the Hambantota port. “They had no sense that these resources belong to the people of this country and their children. One has to question who will lose when the properties of our nation are leased for 200 years. Leasing for 200 years is equal to selling. The previous government has taken away the rights of children who are even born after 200 years” he added.

He also added that there were two ministers representing the Hambantota district but even they could not raise their voice to save the resources of our nation. “It is a difficult task to make alterations in international agreements, therefore, several issues have arisen”. The Prime Minister also said that arrangements have been made to sell the products in the Mahiyangana area and distribute the products to other provinces. “All the programmes have been terminated by the last government. We have taken steps to restart the development that was halted by them. Although the President was elected in November, due to the amendments brought by the previous government through the 19th Amendment to the constitution, it was not possible to dissolve Parliament for four and a half years. The President had to wait until March as Parliament could not be dissolved”

Furthermore he said that, due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the election had to be postponed to August 5.

“The President appointed a task force in January to deal with the corona epidemic. When the epidemic was spreading in the other parts of the world in December, the President was farsighted to think that Sri Lanka would face the issue and took the necessary actions in January. We were able to control COVID-19 because the President took steps to appoint a task force and acted promptly. For the first time in the world, the three Forces were used to control the pandemic. It was because of the President’s prompt action that we were able to track the infected persons and quarantine them. If not the situation could have got worse”

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