The Sunday Leader

I Prefer To Work In A Laundry Rather Than Crossing Over – Dullas Alahapperuma

By Camelia Nathaniel and Ashanthi Warunasuriya

Joint opposition MP Dullas Alahapperuma says that the reason they voted against the budget was purely because it is a budget that has failed the people of this country. In an interview with The Sunday Leader he said that the people voted for this government with a lot of faith but they have let down the people. He said that in spite of the government claims that the price of commodities had been reduced, nothing has been reduced that makes a difference to the people. Denying allegations that he was among some joint opposition members who were waiting to cross over to the government benches he said that he’d rather work in the laundry next door rather than join the government.

Following are excerpts of the interview;

Q.:  Why did you vote against the maiden budget of the good governance government?

A:  I see three aspects in this budget. The first is that there are no Bandaranayake or Maithri policies within this budget. Hence I am left with the dilemma of how to agree with this budget. This is entirely a JR and Ranil chinthanaya, and that is why we are against it.

 

Q:  Does that mean there is nothing good in this budget?

A:  No. In fact I said it even in my speech in parliament that after a very long time the budget has come into the hands of the Finance ministry from the head of state. The head of state is a very busy person and he cannot cope with the finance ministry affairs. Hence I see this as a good move. Also I have praised the proposals to grant land ownership to tenants occupying houses for over ten years and many other positives moves.

However although the positives have been discussed even in the state media in a big way, the negatives have been left out of these discussions rather conveniently. That is why we are talking about the negative aspects of this budget.

 

Q:  Most people say that this is a budget that has brought the greatest relief to the people after a long spell. Do you agree?

A:  It is not what many people are saying, but it is what the Federal party parliamentarians are saying. But in spite of their claims, I challenge you to go to the grocery store near your home and see if prices have been reduced.

Moreover this is a budget that destroys the agricultural sector of the country. There is nothing mentioned in this budget about the farmers and they have failed to keep their promise in providing concessions for the tea industry as well. In fact everything that the finance minister said in his first budget reading is not in this budget.

According to this budget the promised Rs. 2500 salary increment for the private sector will only be given as  Rs 1500 this year and Rs. 1000 in 2017. This is a big joke and it is the government ridiculing the private sector workers.There is no mention of salary increments for the state sector either.

The small scale and micro industrialists have not been taken into consideration in this budget and they have been totally ignored. Only the large scale businessmen have been thought of. It is clear that the government has focused mainly on opening up avenues for foreign investors and the big businessmen. This whole budget is a farce.

 

Q:  The opposition had brought a no confidence motion against the finance minister of this still premature government. Is this fair?

A: The reason we did this was because the finance minister had misled the people, cabinet and even the president. This was because he said that 5.6% from the GDP was allocated for the education sector, and he said that it was 185 million. Now there is capital and recurrence expenditure of the budget, but what the minister had done to achieve the 185 million was to calculate all the capital expenditure of the 11,200 state school buildings and Lands Island wide and add 122 billion to allocation. The health sector is the same.

In reality only Rs. 64 million is allocated in cash funds to education, but he has bloated up the figure by simply adding on the value of the buildings and the land.

This government is a cunning one. The majority of the allocations are for the education and health sectors only. Rightfully the allocations should be distributed evenly among all other ministries.

Sometimes even the president makes contradicting statements and this too is a reason for us to vote against the budget. This sort of budget was not formulated even during John Kotalawala’s era. This budget is the most fraudulent and greatest eyewash that has ever been done.

 

Q; Is it true that another set of MPs from the joint opposition are to cross over to the government?

A:  Well as far as I am aware there is no one from our side is going to cross over. However when the budget  vote was taken, there were many offers to entice the opposition MP’s, offering them houses, official vehicles, drivers etc. But in spite of these offers, 48 of these MP’s did not fall for these bribes and they are the ones who opposed the budget. We will not try to hold back anyone who tries to trade his integrity for materialistic or personal gains. If at all there might just be one person who would cross over, but we will not stop anyone.

 

Q:  There were indications that you were also on the list of MPs to cross over, is that true?

A:  This would be the greatest insult in the whole of my political career.  I would prefer to work in a laundry rather than crossing over.

 

Q:  There are many political changes taking place today and under these circumstances what will the joint opposition’s future?

A:  There won’t be any change. We have 51 members in the joint opposition and we are in a very strong position. We have no desire to split the SLFP in two. Some are going to fall into the pit of lies of the UNP and our objective is to stop the SLFPers from falling prey to the lies of the UNP.

 

Q. The president stated that this government cannot be toppled at least until 2020, so is your effort worthwhile?

A:  If they present budgets like the one they just did, this government would only last another one more budget. The way this government is going they will not be able to hold their stability for much longer.They are forging ahead forgetting the citizens of this country who voted for them, and no matter who makes statements, be it the President, Prime minister or the whole cabinet, this government cannot survive for much longer if they ignore the wishes of the people who voted them in. No matter how much this government punishes us, we will still take forward the wishes of the voters who voted for us.

 

Q:  Why didn’t UPFA MP Mahinda Rajapaksa come to parliament to take part in the budget vote?

A:  Actually the group of joint opposition members requested the former President not to take part in the vote. Some will criticise him but this is not a division within the SLFP but just a difference of opinion.

 

Q: Don’t to think that the joint opposition actions are pulling back or hampering the people friendly progress of the good governance regime?

A:  First I must correct this question. If the national government had a people friendly programme we will certainly assist them, but what they have now is definitely not people friendly.For instance the changing of the electoral systems, the 19th amendment are decisions that we are also support. We will not oppose everything just for the sake of doing it. But most of the decisions and policy of this government is not in the best interest of the people including their economic policies. Even the foreign policy and the national security policies of this government are detrimental to the people and sovereignty of the people. That is why I disagreed that this government is people friendly in the first place.

 

8 Comments for “I Prefer To Work In A Laundry Rather Than Crossing Over – Dullas Alahapperuma”

  1. kumara

    allas you are from the dhoby race any way so go back cheat your people you bloody Idiotic Moron

  2. Nihal Gunatilake

    Hi- Jan Meta Wada Lokui Purudddha!!. bye – Nihal Gunatilake

  3. ranjit demel

    this government is worse than a laundry,like all governments after 1976.please do join will not make any difference

  4. Sri Lankan

    He agree that he is a dhoby, Was the parliament with full of Dhoby and Morons?

  5. Gavin

    Good!! you can start washing all your dirty linen and the dirty linen of your good mate the King MR and his siblings

  6. You have said that you Prefer To Work In A Laundry Rather Than Crossing Over , yes good decesion because you have previous experience that you worked at RAJAPAKSHA LAUNDRY,

    Reply

  7. Malli

    Well said not only previous experience even now he does the same

  8. kumara

    You have the you stole from the public purse,we know where you live in the states you Moron,you play out the poor Sinhalese Buddhist,you worship with them and tell all the bull shit to innocent Sinhalese like MR and they think that MR the alibaba and 40 paraya thives get away from blue murder
    Mate your day will come when you will have lick your own back side
    and ask forgivesnes when your children get to the wrong side of the law
    then mate you can go on your knees and ask for forgiveness
    don’t worry your turn will come you aparaya Moron

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