Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who referring to the announcement of SLPP led alliance’s new name and its candidate for the presidential elections, today said the leaders of the former regime will not change their old ways even if they come in a new name and with a new colour.
The Prime Minister, who focused on the SLPP at a public gathering in Kurunegla to distribute compensation to farmers whose crops were damaged due to recent droughts, cited the famous Sinhalese saying ‘ Kiren Baddathi Kobeya, Thelen Baddath Kobeiya, Kobeya mai Kobeya. Kobeya will not become a Rajaliya. (Dover will not become a hawk no matter how it tries to change its ways).
“We heard that SLPP is to come up with a new name and had announced its candidate at its convention. I wish them all the best. However, it will not change its old ways even if they change its name and come up with a new colour. I only got to say that Kiren Baddath Kobeya, thelen Baddath Kobeya. Kobeya mai Kobeya. Kobeya will not become a Rajaliya,” the Prime Minister said.
“One must see whether they are capable of doing what they failed to do during the ten years they ruled the country. They were not able to turn the Hambantota Port into a profit-making venture, they could not provide compensation to farmers whose crops were damaged due to natural disasters. They introduced a white van culture during their time, will they accept that it was wrong and stop it if they come to power? They would not,” he said.
“We took over power when the Treasury was about to get empty. Difficulties were faced by the people during the first year of our government. We developed the economy though it was a difficult task. We did not run away from challenges and held elections. We have managed to develop exports, we restored the GSP plus which we lost during the last regime. We managed to turn Hambantota Port into a profit-making venture. We did all these in five years. The previous regime could not achieve what we have achieved even though they reigned for ten years. Therefore, people should decide whether they are going to hand over the nation to those who have failed,” he added.
Referring to climate change, the Prime Minister said monsoon rains will become a thing in the past. “The Indian Department of Meteorology has informed that there will be heavy short term showers and will also experience droughts. Local farmers will have to fit into these changes and go for modern methods. They will also have to cultivate paddy seeds which needs a lesser amount of water. They will have to think about cultivating new crops,” he said. (Yohan Perera)
Pix by Pradeep Pathirana