Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Joint Opposition (JO) MP C.B. Rathnayake spoke to Rivira Media with regard to the country’s present political situation, the various political conflicts, and the forthcoming Local Government election.
Q : During the week, the JO was mostly with the Rajapaksas at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) or the Financial Crimes Investigation Department (FCID).
True. There was a media spectacle. The Government is getting ready to defeat the no-faith motion that has been brought against it. Because of this, the Government has splintered into three to four factions. The connection is breaking up.
They must be thinking that the show they put up when there was a resignation would be cancelled by this. When a no-faith motion was brought against the Prime Minister, the Government was dissolved. Whatever happens, a person who has pursued a political aim will have to take a great effort to organize their political lives once again. No one who talks now will come to help in this regard.
Q : Because the Rajapaksas went to the CID and the FCID, has the Commission inquiring and investigating into the issuance of Treasury bonds and MP Ravi Karunanayake been suppressed in the minds of the people?
Prior to 2015 January 8, many things were planned to be brought to the forefront. The moment one was forgotten another was brought. During the time of former President Ranasinghe Premadasa, United National Party members and those with clarity of vision such as Gamini Dissanayake and Lalith Athulathmudali left the Party as they thought that the country’s future would come to their hands.
Because they had not planned in this regard, they had to take much effort to stand up again. Karunanayake too, when rebuilding in the aforementioned manner will have to face such a crisis situation.
Q : There are various rumours doing the rounds these days about a separate Court being established in relation to the Rajapaksas.
There is a saying that one must be exemplary before preaching to others. There are those who did wrongs such as running children over using vehicles and purchased many ships. There is no analysis of these matters.
When one looks back at history, incumbent Minister of Health Dr. Rajitha Senaratne who prior to 2005 spoke on political stages praising incumbent Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and who spoke of tsunami thieves, however during the time of our Government joined us and criticized Wickremesinghe. It is the Pra organization and affiliated groups that broke up the SLFP and formed a new leased and rented out party and functioned on the basis that they opposed the Provincial Councils.
In the end, Dr. Senaratne who broke up the Party, stooped to the level of stating in Parliament, the number of spots on the body of former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga. He even spoke with hate and malice about the fact that Bandaranaike who was so ill that she had to be taken in her bed to the Jayewardenepura hospital because there was no other way she could be taken to the said hospital. Afterwards, he spoke with Rajapaksa like he was the main adviser and now he speaks in this manner about the Rajapaksas. The people know that he is speaking out of hate and malice.
Q : Can these things be done constitutionally?
That can only be done if the dentist is made the Chief Justice and the Jathika Hela Urumaya’s tall bodied person is appointed the Attorney General. Those with long-term experience who know the law such as Minister of Justice President’s Counsel Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe say something different to what Dr. Senaratne says with regard to the question of whether such can be done constitutionally or not. We must be aware of the law.
Q : Can a Minister issue statements about appointing a trial-at-bar?
Since the moment this Government was appointed, all they have ever done is issue statements which misled the people. Statements made as Cabinet statements were on occasion rebutted by way of Cabinet statements. Therefore, this is only a laughable statement.
Q : The prices of vehicles and internet has been reduced.
These can be hailed. Although the reduction of the price of vehicles is made out to be a big show, attention must be paid to focusing on reducing the prices of essential goods and the costs pertaining to agriculture. On the one hand, they say that there are too many vehicles, in excess, in the country.
At such a juncture, when attempting to do what is being proposed at present, this will lead to serious problems which would have to be faced in the future. It is much better if the fertilizer subsidy is given instead.
Q : Is the Government planning on postponing elections using the proposed 20th Amendment to the Constitution?
For the time being, this has been included in the Parliament’s order paper. However, factions have expressed views that they are not in agreement with it, one feels that it would be withdrawn. The Central Committee of the SLFP too has spoke of the fact that they are opposed to it. However, if they get the benefit, we do not know how they will decide.
Those who were elected may at least talk about it thinking about the next election. However, those who lost the election and came in through the national list, they may have to raise a voice with regard to being taken in as a security guard. Therefore, there is no point in discussing such falsehoods.
Q : What is the JO’s view in this regard?
No Provincial Council election has been held for two years. If this Amendment is being brought to postpone the Provincial Councils election, we will vehemently oppose it.