President Mahinda Rajapaksa, in his concluding speech of the budget debate, yesterday appealed Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader R. Sampanthan and his party’s Northern Provincial Council Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran to co-operate with the government to evolve homegrown solutions to bring about national reconciliation, peace and development in the country.
The President wound up the budget debate that lasted from November 21, by delivering a prepared speech for one hour to a well-attended Parliament. In his speech, he countered criticism on the budgetary proposals by the opposition members. However, there was an element of constructive criticism and recognition of his government’s achievements by the opposition this time.
“We commend this. You have to criticize us constructively. Then, we can correct ourselves. UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva recognized the government’s ability to reduce the budget deficit to 5.8 percent this time from 9.9 percent. We target it to be reduced further to 5.2 percent next year and to 3.8 in 2016,” he said.
Like in his last year’s budget speech, he drew examples from the folklore woven around a villager who took a sack of tamarind to a vendor.
“In this story, the vendor concerned weighed the amount of tamarind and deducted payments for husks, seeds and the sack that contained it. Then, there was none left. The disappointed villager asked the vendor whether this meant there was no tamarind in the sack. The opposition’s criticism cannot be compared to this story this time. They have admitted that there is some tamarind in the sack,” he told the House amid ripples of laughter.
The President tried to counter criticisms mainly by UNP MPs such as Sujeewa Senasinghe, Ajith P. Perera and Sajith Premadasa in their respective speeches during the course of the debate. He said state institutions were considered unsuccessful business ventures both by successive governments between 1977 and 2005.
“State institutions were privatized at a rate. Late leaders J.R. Jayewardene and R. Premadasa built the opinion that governments should do away with them. The same policy was followed by former President Chandrika Kumaratunga and opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. Yet, we deviated from it,” he said.
Referring to the mega water project aimed at supplying drinking water from the Iranamadu Tank to Kilinochchi and Jaffna, he urged TNA MP S. Sritharan who is from that area, to assist the government to address problems cropped up in the implementation of this project.
He outlined the government’s development projects such as road projects, port projects and the airport project.
“I kindly request the UNP not to think of privatizing the Hambantota port and the airport at any cost, “he said.(KB & YP)
Its been over 4 years since the end of the war and you have failed to table a solution from YOUR side. People need to know what your stance is. Just screaming "We are against terrorism", "We want harmony" slogans are useless. You need to table a solution or at least build confidence by FULLY implementing the LLRC.
indigo Saturday, 21 December 2013 05:00 AM
for once i agree with him now MR get your finger out and do it. words are cheap. we need to see action
C.K.Lankaputhra Saturday, 21 December 2013 09:02 AM
He has proved in the past that he is unreliable. Beware.
mercy Saturday, 21 December 2013 09:52 AM
A Phd in NATO leader
Vic Saturday, 21 December 2013 12:13 PM
It's just empty words, no use for Tamils anymore.
Ramani Saturday, 21 December 2013 12:49 PM
As far as international community interferring on Sri Lanka's internal affairs no solution can be found! "Its like too many cooks will spoil the soup"!
kapila Saturday, 21 December 2013 01:05 PM
nato=NO ACTION TALKING NLY
ravi Saturday, 21 December 2013 01:14 PM
Full implementation of LLRC, Independent internal investigation on alleged war crimes & long lastion political solution to Nort & East will ensure the better Sri Lanka in the international arena. Rest all honey coated words! we have seen many people during the last 50 years Mr. MR!
concerned Saturday, 21 December 2013 03:13 PM
Government is not sincere, it is playing politics with TNA for Sinhalese and international community!
ram Saturday, 21 December 2013 03:25 PM
as expected up to march omly
Politic Saturday, 21 December 2013 04:21 PM
It's too late Mr.President. We already spend 4 years with your talks. He us get reading for March 2014. But last chance already pases sir.
kumar Saturday, 21 December 2013 04:36 PM
The vellala Hindu Jaffna Tamils supports the TNA and wants it to work in harmony with President Rajapaksa.
Be Fair Saturday, 21 December 2013 05:50 PM
On the TNA matter, at least lets try to appreciate the president, "this time only", as my family and I do not want another war in the name of "autonomy"
Road runner Sunday, 22 December 2013 02:14 AM
You mean No Action but Talk Only.
chena Sunday, 22 December 2013 11:15 AM
are you a small baby less than one year old???
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