While faulting the government for its “stupid” and "foolish" decisions with regard to its Agricultural policy, former Presidential Advisor on agricultural affairs Hemakumara Nanayakkara said he would decide on his future political path “in the next few days”.
“ The Agricultural policy of this government is not going in the right direction, farmers were guaranteed a purchase price of Rs.26 for paddy but the price has now been reduced to Rs. 18 causing severe hardship and distress to farmers. I don’t make these statements while sitting in an air-conditioned room in Colombo. I have visited farmers in areas including Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Medirigiriya,Kawudulla, Ginidama and Hingurakdamana among other farming areas. After these visits I submitted a report requesting all responsible people to immediately rectify this problem but there were no efforts taken to rectify this” he said.
The former Minister went on to state that the issues do not end with the farmers. “ Now there is an issue with vegetables, there is an issue with milk production and the marketing of milk and the government is trying to give some sort of excuse to escape from the situation which I personally don’t like and do not approve”.
Nanayakkara went on to say that the government’s agricultural policy in recent times has been ‘sinful’ “They came out with a stupid plan of bringing down the Kundasale School of agriculture and building an airport. In the same way they want to establish an airport in Seethaeliya. These are the most pivotal points of the country's agricultural development. If the government is interested in the country's agricultural development it will not make these kind of foolish decisions, so I don’t want to be a party to this sin, this curse, which Is why I decided to relinquish my duties”
When the Daily Mirror asked Nanayakkara about the remarks made by the Minister of Agriculture in parliament yesterday denying reports of building an airport in Kundasale, Nanayakkara said it was the same minister who told the media a few days ago about the proposed airport. “ He must be under pressure. That is why he is making these statements, but i'm not under any pressure, ” he said.
When asked about the political future of the Galle district heavyweight , he said he would continue to be actively involved in Politics ” I will continue to be involved in active and honest politics. My politics has always been honest and I will make a decision regarding my political future in the next few days” he said. (Hafeel Farisz)