MPs comment on Constitution without knowing facts: PM

The Members of Parliament were issuing statements and comments about the new Constitution without knowing exact details, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said this morning.

Prime Minster Wickremesinghe made this statement during a ceremony held at Temple Trees to distribute compensation to flood victims of Kolonnawa.

“We have decided to include the responses of political parties in the interim report so that MPs could study them before coming for the debate. Some MPs utter things without knowing the details,” the Premier said.

The Prime Minister also criticised the media saying that the print media in particular, were trying to sabotage the Constitution making process.

“We have decided to adopt a speedy process to provide compensation to those who are affected by natural disasters. News such as these should be main stories or page-one stories. However, print media is giving space to stories which are opposed to a new Constitution,” he said.

“A new Constitution has not been prepared yet. Show us the draft of the new Constitution if there is one. Do not mislead the people in this manner. People will go against media at the end of the day, if they continued to mislead them,” he said.

Mr. Wickremesinghe said 70, 000 families who were affected by landslides have been paid compensation so far.

“A total of Rs3.6 billion has been paid to landslide and flood victims of 2016,” he said.

He said that Rs.1.3 billion had been paid to flood victims of 2017.

“I have instructed relevant institutions to make the payments to all victims by end November this year. I shall visit flood hit areas in the south and see for myself the progress made on paying compensation to the flood and landslides victims. We have instructed the institutions to pay compensation to all victims according to government estimates. We can pay more if the people appeal” he said.

“The Government has decided to introduce a new speedy process of paying compensation to victims of natural disasters. Usually it takes around five years to complete the compensation paying process.

“However we have decided to expedite this process. It is the people who are going to suffer when payments are delayed as value of the funds given to them declines as a result of devaluation of the rupee. Rupee is devalued in Sri Lanka as Sri Lanka is a country which is set to settle its borrowings, which has exceeded Rs. 3 trillion” the Prime Minister added.

He said that steps had been taken to prepare Sri Lanka to face global climate changes as well.

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