The Opposition is ready to support the government when it comes to obtaining foreign investments but will not keep silent if the ruling party hoodwinks the people, UPFA MP Namal Rajapaksa told Parliament today during the budget debate.
“What the present government promised before coming to power and its actions now are poles apart. Government lied to the people back then and it is lying now. It promised to get the Volkswagen company to set up a production plant. It promised to bring in investments worth a million dollars from Belgium and promised to extract gas from Mannar. However, none of these have been turned into reality,” he said and added that a plan had to be prepared to extract natural gas but the government had not done so and neither had it established a hydro carbon fund.
“We are not against securing investments but the manner in which the government is doing this suspicious. An agreement has been signed to set up a cement factory in Hambantota without doing an environmental assessment study. This investor has been given a 1,000 acre block of land," the MP said.
He said the government had earlier alleged that this investor possessed black money belonging to the Rajapaksas and was taken to the FCID.
"The government should make a statement on this matter. Transparency International has said there could be money laundering involved in the Hambantota refinery deal. Government says that this 3.5 billion dollar deal is only under discussion. The owner of this company which is to invest in the refinery now says that he does not own the company anymore. Therefore the government is dealing with a company without an owner. There is land grabbing in Sri Lanka.. India is given 5,000 acres and China 15,000 acres. We are not against investments but we won't remain silent if the government hoodwinks the people,” the MP said. (Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana)