Actress turned Parliamentarian Upeksha Swarnamali told Parliament today that President Mahinda Rajapaksa accepted two of her three budgetary proposals including the one to establish five circuit bungalows in the country for the benefit of artistes.
Speaking during the debate on the expenditure head of the Women’s Affairs Ministry, Ms. Swarnamali, who crossed over from the UNP and is better known as ’Paba’, remarked that this budget holds greater significance to her because of the inclusion of two of her proposals.
She expressed her gratitude to the President for it.
“Artistes face problems without proper facilities. Therefore, I made this proposal. The President, in the budget, made the necessary capital allocation to construct five circuit bungalows. Lands have also been earmarked for it,” she said.
She said she proposed to set up centres to grant relief to female victims of sexual abuse and other forms of violence, and it too received the green light from the President.
Meanwhile, she was involved in a verbal clash with UNP MP Ranjan Ramanayake who accused her of obtaining cash inducements from the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau to perform at a reality show for Sri Lankan migrant workers in the Middle East.
“I am asking MP Ramanayake not to use parliamentary privileges to sling mud at others. There is no need for us get money from the Bureau. When we perform outside the country, there are enough of sponsors willing to pay for us,” she said.
At one point, she called Mr. Ramanayake a wolf clad in sheep’s clothing. (Kelum Bandara and Yohan Perera)