Q : What are your duties and activities as the Prime Minister’s Spokesperson and the Deputy Head of the Prime Minister’s Office?
A : Through this, I get to serve thousands of people per day. All those who cannot directly connect with the Prime Minister come and meet me and expect solutions to their problems. I am very happy about it. Not just individuals but trade unions and various organizations come and discuss with me.
Politically, I am the one who looks at them. I have some ability to call a Minister via the phone and address him or her or speak to an officer and provide an urgent solution and in turn provide some relief. This is not solely in the Colombo District. People from all over the country come here.
Q : Will you contest for the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) at the upcoming Local Government election?
A : Yes.
Q : What is your plan in this regard?
A : The CMC has five electorates and seats and is a municipality jurisdiction in which a large population lives. There is much to be done within this jurisdiction.
Today, there are issues that arise when disposing of waste. Issues regarding waste management have arisen. The primary reason for the present circumstances is the unfortunate situation that occurred at Meethotamulla.
Such a situation should not have arisen in any country. I regret the fact that such a situation happened in this country. What was the reason as to why we fell to the level where we had to go to Meethotamulla to dispose of waste? As of now, there are waste recycling mechanisms in the world.
There are such mechanisms through which energy is generated. Why could not we throughout the past two to three years enter into such? This is either due to the inability of the rulers or negligence.
We must think anew like this, at a time when technology has developed. This is a problem faced by people to which several Ministries and several institutions must get together and discuss and implement a certain programme for. It is for this that there is a Government and there are Local Government authorities. We must pay more emphasis and focus on waste management.
Dengue is spreading fast. Also, the way I see it, the people who live within the jurisdiction of the municipality of the City of Colombo have not been able to strengthen their lives, economically. This is an area where there are around 1,000 slums and shanties. There is much to be done about the sanitation, drinking water, housing, children’s school based education and early childhood development of those who live in such. There are many measures to be taken. Colombo is our resource. It is also the United National Party’s stronghold. If we can develop the stronghold, we must work and go towards that. I think that this is Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s hope.
Q : Are you satisfied with the yahapalana (good governance) National Government?
A : I believe that even today our country has become a country that has regressed due to separatist politics. Especially, if one takes South Asia, many countries in South Asia have reached a situation today where they are rapidly moving forward.
Today, countries like Bangladesh and Taiwan have passed us. China, Japan and India have become stronger. We should have come under a consensus based political mechanism a decade ago. From the way I see it, it is already too late. Even though late, the journey being taken by the two main Parties together is important.
What we really need is a new electoral system. Through a new Constitution, the national Government has to provide solutions to these aspects.
These two parties came together and repealed the dangerous 18th Amendment to the Constitution and replaced it with the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. Through all this, I believe that we have taken good decisions. Today, commissions are appointed and solutions are provided to and for issues.
Today, the situation has come to a level where the law is being enforced, even with regard to the Treasury bonds and also in relation to everything else. We are happy about that. Back then, no matter how many people took to the streets and shouted about the corrupt, the murderers and the white vans, no commission was appointed let alone was an inquiry conducted.