Responding to a claim by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa that he would reduce taxes by 20 percent after regaining power, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe challenged him on Saturday to reveal the country how the latter is going to repay the huge amount of loans the country owes to the other countries after reducing taxes.
Speaking at a function that was organised to declare open the iron bridge that has been constructed over the Kelani River connecting Siyane Korale and Hapitigama Korale at Ranwala, Dompe, the Prime Minister stated that he wanted to know how Mr. Rajapaksa is going to reduce taxes while at the same time repaying the foreign debt with interest.
The Prime Minister was referring to a statement made by the former President during an interview with a Sinhala newspaper days ago.
Claiming that his government had to pay the loans including one amounting around Rs. 21,000 million obtained by the previous regime for acquiring lands from all over the country, Mr. Wickremesinghe said that his government was paying for the sins of Mr. Rajapaksa.
The Prime Minister referred to the proverb "people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones" when he recalled how the government of former President who accuses the incumbent government now that it sells national assets to foreigners, sold 50 acres from the Port City outright to China and the land where the Army Headquarters was situated to a Chinese hotel.
He said that the country had to face several natural disasters such as floods, drought and the collapse of Meetotamulla garbage dump, yet the government has embarked on development projects such as the construction of Ranwala and Milleniya bridges. (Upali Ranaweera)