The JVP told Parliament yesterday the government`s popularity had slumped to the lowest ebb at present.
JVP strongman K.D. Lal Kantha speaking during the adjournment debate on the curtailment of benefits to public servants said people used to turn violent against them for criticizing the government, but today it was the other way round.
Mr. Lal Kantha said actions of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his brothers had resulted in this situation, and the time was ripe for the JVP to voice their opposition to the government. `Now, there is no public support for the government. It has lost it due to its own folly,` he said.
`The government cannot ask people to bear the present problems silently for the sake of war. Besides a war, there is rampant corruption among government ranks. As for recent tour of China, 266 persons went with the President. We do not know why such a large delegation went. Today, the government has a parliamentary majority to run the country. But, attempts are underway to win over another set of UNP MPs. These moves are totally unacceptable. How can it ask people to tighten their belts in this context?` he questioned.
He said there was an element of truth in the allegation that `the Rajapaksa Company` was running the country.
Mr.Lal Kantha said without taking action against errant officials and politicians involved in corruption as exposed by the COPE
The JVP MP touching on the COPE findings said the government had ridiculed Parliament by not taking any action against the errant officials. `COPE is a parliamentary body, so its report should be considered a parliamentary report, but there is no action taken against the culprits. In the Ceylon Electricity Board alone, there had been corruption amounting to Rs. 820 million,` he said.
Earlier in the debate the UNP said the government had pruned benefits for public servants and ordinary persons to save money to provide ministers with various perks which included a monthly housing rent of Rs. 100,000 for each.
Chief Opposition Whip Joseph Michael Perera said the housing rent was in addition to the provision of a number of vehicles along with a fuel allowance.