By Yohan Perera
The candidate who will run for presidency from the UNP-led alliance will be announced shortly, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday.
Responding to a question raised by CNN correspondent and popular television show ‘Quest Means Business’ host Richard Quest at the ‘Future of Tourism’ summit, the premier said the candidate was a secret but would be revealed soon.
“The presidential candidate of the UNP-led alliance will be made known soon. Why should I reveal the name of the candidate now as it has been kept a secret?” he quizzed in response to the second question posed by Quest on who the candidate would be.
Quest posed the question once again at the end of the Q&A session to which the Prime Minister said, “There are many who want the top job but what I am afraid of is that people are of the opinion that all 225 MPs should be sent home.”
Responding to a question on communication gaps in connection with prior warnings on Easter Sunday attacks, he said Sri Lanka should not neglect information received from foreign agencies. “The issue was that information stayed with government officials without being passed on to the political leadership,” he said.
When asked if investigative reports carried out on Easter Sunday attacks would be made public, the premier said the report prepared by the parliamentary select committee (PSC) would be made public. “Besides, Archbishop of Colombo Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith had wanted another independent probe on the attacks and I wouldn’t mind it,” he said.
When Quest asked if the premier thought Sri Lanka needed a national carrier, he nodded in support but said the national carrier should be managed by the private sector. “SriLankan Airlines failed as a result of government intervention. The private sector should keep tourism going while the government plays its role. The government will bring in new laws, especially to control taxes levied by local bodies. The government is looking towards relaxing laws in the construction sector.”
The premier said Sri Lanka should not neglect information received from foreign agencies