Following are the views expressed by certain ministers in response to queries raised about the possibility of more ministers leaving the government.
Minister of Labour and Trade Unions Relations - W.D.J. Seneviratna
The Minister said there is no need for anyone who works with the correct understanding of the activities of a coalition government, to withdraw from the government.
“This is a consensus government and no individual can expect 100 percent freedom of rule under a government that was formed under one major party. Disputes, shortcomings and difficulties faced by the members of both parties are natural for this type of government. Such weaknesses are unavoidable.
We often receive complaints about preferential treatment in giving job opportunities, and some level charges that jobs in one district are given to residents of other districts.
The possibility of conflicts and differences of opinion among different parties have to be expected. The government was established to implement some policies accepted by the two parties. And understanding and patience of both parties are vital to achieve the targets based on these policies.
I am not disappointed with the activities of the government as I understand the difference of working under a single party government and a government comprising of several parties.
However we must strive to attain our common objectives despite all these disparities. Ministers of both parities are working amidst these difficulties, but we must all try to overcome these problems with understanding. I am not disappointed with this government, so I will not be leaving the government,” the Minister said.
"This is a consensus government and no individual can expect 100 percent freedom of rule under a government that was formed under one major party. Disputes, shortcomings and difficulties faced by the members of both parties are natural"
State Minister of National Integration and Reconciliation - A.H.M. Fowzie
I do not have any problem working with the UNP.
Minister Fowzie said he is not aware of the reason that caused the former State Minister Priyankara Jayarathna to leave the government. He said that he did not have any despondency about the activities of the government. “We are in a national government. I was given a portfolio by the President and I am pursuing my work without any difficulty,” Minister Fowzie added.
Q Are you not displeased with certain activities of the government?
This government has a set of policies and they work within that frame. The collective policy decision taken by the President, Prime Minister and the ministers should be implemented by collaborative efforts. All of us must work with consciousness without blaming others. I do not criticize others. I must reiterate that I have no despondency and that I will continue to do my work for the benefit of the people of my area.”
State Minister of Lands - T.B. Ekanayaka
Q Are you displeased with the government
No such displeasure - but these days we are discussing about our future activities. During our meeting with the President we discussed about our future activities and also about the obstacles we have to face doing ministerial work.
Q What are the obstacles
Problems and difficulties common to any ministry.
"Whenever there is a coalition government problems and diputes arise. In 1977 the joint opposition left the SLFP. But had we contested with unity, we would have won a number of electorates"
Q Have you confronted any problem while working with the UNP.
UNP is a separate party having different policies and different decisions to suit their policies. We are not concerned with these differences. Whenever there is a coalition government problems and diputes arise. In 1977 the joint opposition left the SLFP. But had we contested with unity, we would have won a number of electorates .
Now we are undergoing a new experience.Therefore we have to work with understanding of each other.
Q Are you satisfied with the activities of the unity government of UPFA and UNP.
This is a unity government. Non-compatible incidents are unavoidable. We always try to solve problems through negotiation. We are confident that the President would take appropriate measures to solve the disputes among ministries.
State Minister for City Planning and Water Supply - Sudharshani Fernandopulle
"They find fault with the unity of SLFP and UNP. People did not give their mandate for a single party to form a government. Is it appropriate if the UNP formed a government with the TNA? Isn’t it better if two major parties joined to form a government"
I have no time to concentrate on despondencies
Q Many ministers are said to be displeased with the government. Are you also displeased?
No, I am not discouraged. Many people are making various comments especially those in the joint opposition. They find fault with the unity of SLFP and UNP. People did not give their mandate for a single party to form a government. Is it appropriate if the UNP formed a government with the TNA? Isn’t it better if two major parties joined to form a government.
Following the peoples mandate two main parties united and formed a government. We must respect the peoples’ decision. Therefore the two parties have taken the most appropriate decision in forming a national government and to ensure the stability of the country.
Q Some say several minister are not co-operating with state ministers and deputy ministers.
There may be such allegations as all are not alike. We must work in conformity with the law. Such differences prevailed even during our government.Then some ministers were only concerned with the activities of their respective ministries. We have domestic problems too. We must try to solve these problems through discussion.
We have suffered immensely in political activities, but if we engage in thinking of these miseries we would not be able to serve the people to the maximum.
Deputy Minister of Public Management Reforms - Susantha Punchi Nilame
"I joined the SLFP from the UNP openly, without any secrecy and with due respect to the UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. Likewise if the circumstances compel, I would directly inform President Maithripala Sirisena and leave"
The Minister said he is displeased on behalf of the people, and they should be provided with reliefs.
Q What sort of relief or facilities do you expect?
Facilities to improve their living conditions. They voted for us with immense expectation.
Q Are you not happy with the activities of the government.
I do what I think is right, but do not boast or lie. I joined the SLFP from the UNP openly, without any secrecy and with due respect to the UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. Likewise if the circumstances compel, I would directly inform President Maithripala Sirisena and leave. At the moment I do not have any reason to leave the government, as my main objective is to solve the problems of people in the Trincomalee District.
Q Are you satisfied with the co-operation you get from your minister.
Yes, I do. We have been friends for a long time. I like to work with him.
Port and Shipping Deputy Minister - Nishantha Muthuhettigama
"We also have issues relating to the Magampura Harbour and the lands. We expressed our views to President Maithripala Sirisena with regard to these problems"
Minister Muthuhettigama said he will stay with the government despite the problems he is having.
Q Do you also have issues with the government
We are concerned with the way things are being done.
Q Could you describe the situation.
There is confusion in the statements made by both parties of our national alliance.
We also have issues relating to the Magampura Harbour and the lands. We expressed our views to President Maithripala Sirisena with regard to these problems.
Q Does this suggest you are not satisfied with what is happening.
However, we would not leave the government because of these problems, as our aim is to do something for the country.
Q What you say indirectly, there is no problem for you
There are problems, but we are trying to solve them. We are equal partners of the government and not a minority of 20 percent. We will show our progess of work in 2017.
Q Is there any obstacle to your work
There are occasions when ministers are not co-operating with state ministers and deputy ministers
Q Are you subject to these prejudices
Q So you are disgusted in this regard.
We often discuss these issues with the President and the UPFA General Secretary. We even raise these matters at the meeting held with the participation of the President and the Prime Minister We have even arrived at solutions to certain matters. Nothing can be achieved without an effort. We take various measures to seek solutions to our problems.
Megapolis and Western Development Minister - Lasantha Alagiyawanna
"We were elected to work for the people. I am carrying out my duties - you can visit our electorate and see for yourself. I do not fail to attend parliament meetings. I am the Chairman of the Public Account Committee and offer my contribution to the maximum"
The Minister said he is quite satisfied with his work in the government.
Q Do you have disgusted attitudes towards the government
I do not see any reason for disgust. We were elected to work for the people. I am carrying out my duties - you can visit our electorate and see for yourself. I do not fail to attend parliament meetings. I am the Chairman of the Public Account Committee and offer my contribution to the maximum. I also work for the unity of the party.
Q Some say SLFP ministers are being subjected to hindrance by UNP politicians.
I do not experience such difficulties. The on-going development projects are being completed successfully and immense service is being done through the Public Account Committee (PAC) and the sub-committees.
The dispute within the party is not a secret. We are devoted to unite the party. We work together, securing the identities of the two parties and would contest elections separately.
Protests wouldn’t help to solve the problems. There are false views spread within the society. One is about the draft constitution to be presented in Parliament. There should not be any change to the unitary status of the country. This is the ideal time to seek solutions for the problems of the country .
These two parties are not combined. SLFP will never go for elections, in alliance with the other party. Government is not hundred percent correct. We are trying to minimize the shortcomings.
I am only displeased with the difficulties caused to the people due to the decisions taken by some politicians.
courtesy sunday lankadeepa