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“Yugadanavi is one of the many contentious issues”

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Minister of State Jayantha Samaraweera said the country would not have been in such turmoil today if senior political leadership had consulted with voters in the ruling coalition.

Kalutara District Samaraweera National Front for Freedom (NFF) lawmaker said a latent dispute over the Yugadanavi deal that ended up in the Supreme Court was one of many contentious and questionable issues .

The NFF is a splinter group of the JVP and has six members of parliament compared to three seats held by the latter.

MP Samaraweera said the SLPP conveniently turned a blind eye to concerns expressed by voters not only over Yugadanavi’s betrayal but a number of other issues as well. The MP said the SLPP cannot act arrogantly on the basis of numerical superiority. Of the 145 members of the government parliamentary group, 117 represent the SLPP.

When asked to elaborate, lawmaker Samaraweera pointed out how the government had allowed importers to swindle those struggling to make ends meet by removing price controls.

“What is the point of giving customs concessions to various importers unless the government makes sure consumers benefit,” asked the former JVPer.

Referring to the reduction in tariffs on white sugar by issuing a gazette dated October 13, 2020, MP Samaraweera alleged that the whole exercise was aimed at giving sugar importers the opportunity to take a kill .

The garlic scam, the massive fraud in liquid fertilizer imports from India, the controversy surrounding the opening of a letter of credit for the import of Chinese carbon dioxide before receiving The approval of the National Quarantine Center and the pathetic failure to prevent gas-related explosions, much to the embarrassment of the whole government, caused a debilitating setback. “We are starting the new year on a back foot,” said the minister of state.

Minister of State Samaraweera admitted that they had failed to convince the SLPP to review its policies. The parliamentarian said the NFF recently held a special press conference to pressure the government to immediately reimpose price controls or face the consequences. Alleging that the government ignored their demand made on behalf of the people, MP Samaraweera said the ruinous decision that phased out agrochemicals overnight without a proper study of the realities on the ground was perhaps the worst decision taken by the current regime since the last presidential election.

The bankrupt opposition exploited the situation to the full, the MP said, urging the government to respond to public grievances and rectify the mistakes. There is no point in denying the fact that the country has never known such unrest even during the war against the LTTE, said the minister of state.

The MP also questioned the prorogation of Parliament in controversial circumstances. The minister of state said some speculated that the government wanted to reconstitute the parliamentary oversight committees, COPE (Public Enterprise Committee), COPA (Public Accounts Committee) and COPF (Public Finance Committee) because some sections government officials believed the disclosures had been made. it caused some difficulty.

Responding to another question, MP Samaraweera said that as a dissolved COPE member chaired by Professor Charitha Herath, he was aware of the importance of the work undertaken by the oversight committee.

Maybe the government couldn’t stand what was going on there, the NFF official said, pointing out that it was COPF president Anura Priyadarshana Yapa who fired the first round against the fraud. sugar law. The MP pointed out that if none of the heads of three committees got the top spot again, the public would understand what was going on.

The Kalutara district deputy recalled how COPE arrested Litro for blocking a government audit. For two years Litro, despite being part of the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC), managed to deprive the auditor general, the MP said, adding that the government was suffering from the actions of those who thought they could manipulate everything. The Yugadanavi fiasco was a good example, he said.

Minister of State Samaraweera pointed out the absurdity of blaming Ministers Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Wimal Weerawansa and Udaya Gammanpila on the so-called collective responsibility of the cabinet regarding the decision to deal with the American company New Fortress Energy when the cabinet of ministers never made this decision.

MP Samaraweera said they have confidence in the judiciary. The MP said the Supreme Court would resume hearing on January 10, a week before the start of new parliamentary sessions.