The country`s economy was in the doldrums and its integrity under threat due to the failure of the government to resume the stagnant peace process, UNP Parliamentarian Prof. G.L. Peiris said yesterday.
Addressing the media at the Opposition Leader`s Office, Prof. Peiris said the US $ 4.4 billion pledged at the Tokyo Donor Conference and the Sri Lanka Development Forum in Kandy were stuck because of the UPFA`s inability to revive the peace process.
?Praising the ceasefire agreement signed by Ranil Wickremesinghe, President Kumaratunga recently said that foreign investments began to flow due to the ceasefire. Investment proposals pouring in are so numerous officials now find it difficult to cope with it. The President also said that because of the CFA many lives were saved,? Prof. Peiris said.
The PA government drafted legislation to devolve power in 1998 and in 2000 it tabled a new constitution bill in Parliament providing for a federal form of government. Prime Minister Mahindia Rajapakse actively participated in this move, said Mr. Peiris and asked why Mr. Rajapakse had made a turnaround in his stand at this election.
The JVP vehemently opposed the 13th Amendment but now were willingly representing the Provincial Councils enjoying all its privileges, he said. ?The UPFA government can withdraw from the CFA after giving a 14 days notice if it is a curse to the country. Why is it still upholding it?? Prof. Peiris asked.
UNP Assistant Secretary Tissa Attanayake condemned UPFA Minister Mangala Samaraweera`s threat to cancel the licences of some media institutions.
?The UPFA is talking about a UNP media culture. We have never used State media or any other media for our party politics free of charge. We have paid for all the advertisements. Does Mr. Samaraweera want us to use the State media in the same way they abuse it? Is it their media culture to use the State media for cheap political gain without paying?? Mr. Attanayake asked.
Showing a copy of the 1982 revolutionary manifesto put forward by the former JVP leader Rohana Wijeweera as the Presidential candidate, Mr. Attanayake said that as far back as 1982 Mr. Wijeweera had proposed to disband the Army. The JVP`s present leader Somawansa Amarasinghe proposed the same to Mr. Rajapakse today.
LSSP`s Ratgama organizer Susantha Jayasekara and SLFP`s Kalawana organizer and Ayagama Pradeshiya Sabha member Dayaratne Ranaweera joined the UNP pledging their support to Ranil Wickremesinghe.
They said Mr. Wickremesinghe was the only leader with a vision who could take the country forward.