Chief Government Whip and senior minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle turned to the stars and astrology to defend the government at his weekly press briefing yesterday, saying that the chances of UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe becoming the Prime Minister even in 2010 were remote or entirely ruled out according to the stars. At the briefing held at the Information Department he said that Wickremesinghe`s zodiac sign was Pisces and that he would be affected by the malefic influence of Saturn for a long period of time. `That is why Wickremesinghe makes distorted and weird statements. He will never become the prime minister of this country, leave alone its president,` Fernandopulle said.
`In contrast to the predicament of Ranil Wickremesinghe, President Mahinda Rajapaksa`s sign Virgo placed him in a very advantageous position with Venus exalted. President Rajapaksa`s stars would be in a prime position until 2010. By next May the LTTE would suffer a major defeat and President Rajapaksa`s position would be further strengthened,` he said.
According to a leading astrologer in the country whom he had consulted, all setbacks faced by the government would be over in a few months time. According to him the best time for the government would come in the next few years. The government would get US$ 500 million from the banking consortium headed by HSBC. With the arrest of LTTE kingpin KP in Thailand, the heavy defeat the LTTE suffered in the east and at Silawatura and the destruction of their main weapons supply system, including the destruction of three ships, the future of the government was very bright, he said.
`The government will not cut subsidies or impose taxes on agricultural vehicles as claimed by the UNP. Taxes would be levied only on motor vehicles of over 1400 cc. capacity,` Mr. Fernandopulle said.
`The UNP had backtracked saying that the no confidence motion against the government would be moved in January. Earlier they wanted to bring it this month and the government gave two days, September 18 and 19 for the debate,` he said.
Minister of Media and acting Minister of Tourism Lakshman Yapa Abeywardana said the government was very satisfied with the Sri Lanka Navy and their heroic acts that led to the destruction of three weapons transporting ships at sea a couple of days ago.
`This is definitely a turning point in the 25 years of war. The Sri Lanka Navy has virtually crippled the entire military supply system of the LTTE,` Mr. Yapa said.