The Sunday Leader

Govt. Has To Minimize Corruption And Improve Economy – Prof. Sarath Wijesuriya

by Ashanthi Warunasuirya

Prof. Sarath Wijesuriya says we are all ignorant and only by realising the truth we will be able to get away from ignorance. Head of the Faculty of Sinhala Language, University of Colombo, made his views known to The Sunday Leader. He expounded t he real situation that the country faces today in terms of politics and economy. He also expressed his views on politicians dashing coconuts and grinding chilies at sacred places.

Excerpts of the interview given below:

Q: Many are of the view that the economy of the country is collapsing, and the government has no plan to reverse the situation. What is your view on this claim?

A: Claiming at once that the economy of the country is collapsing only now is not fair. Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa went for an ad hoc election even though he had another two years to complete his term in office because the economy of the country had drastically collapsed even at that time. We were in an inflated development created by the former government by taking huge foreign loans. They were in no-way-out situation in terms of governing, just like some one who uses his credit card and bought goods spending much more than his credit card’s money. They have to repay the loans as well as provide benefits to the public at the same time. I think the public would realise the ground situation if it is explained to them. They do not tolerate the way the government acts in some situations such as Ministers and MPs trying to increase their allowances. They are of the view that instead of providing fair prices for their products, ministers and MPs are trying to increase their benefits. If the country’s economy is collapsing, the government should take exemplary actions to reverse the situation. The Finance Minister has allowed a high number of vehicles to come out from the Customs without paying taxes. Vehicle permits were given to ministers and MPs. People got furious at such acts. The government must prevent such unfair practices from happening. They have to minimise the corruption and take steps to improve the economy.


Q: Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga once said that this government too has corruptions and frauds. The government came into power promising that they will abolish corruption and frauds, and it is not like that of the former government. People did not vote for this government to connect with the corrupt and corruptions. What is your view on this claim?

A: I do not believe that we can abolish corruption and frauds entirely. But we can reduce it to a minimum. It must be happen through certain policies and conventions. By bringing in the Right to information Act, National Auditing Act and practicing transparency, fraud and corruption can be minimized to a great extent. Still the government has not been able to achieve those things. The public trust was broken no sooner than the government came into power by the scandalous act of the Central Bank. The government could not defend the Central Bank action. There are allegations that four powerful ministers misused their power and took money from businessmen who earned via illegal activities. The government did not take adequate steps to get rid of these allegations. If those ministers were removed, then people would realise that this government is genuine. Still it is not too late. It takes a little time to breach the trust. But it is not so easy to rebuild it.


Q: Even though commissions were launched, the investigations into killing of Lasantha, disappearance of Eknaligoda have no that much of improvement. Is not that so?

A: Those crimes were carried out very skillfully. It is clear that those were carried out exploiting army personnel. Only after investigating and gathering evidences, these crimes should be brought to court. They must be proved in courts. It takes time. But some investigations have been complete to a satisfactory level. These are crimes swept under the carpets via legal avenues. I understand that about 80 per cent of many investigations have been already completed.


Q: It seems like underworld has reared its ugly head. How do you view this situation?

A: This is sub results of the war. The people who have been using arms for many years, when they do not have that need to use arms, may take advantages of some situations to use arms. This is to some extent was created by politics. The underworld activities are like corruptions. They have been controlled to a certain extent. It is like a rainfall helping weeds to grow. What is unfortunate is these underworld activities killings they commit is taken  as their personal revenges or as their businesses. Yes, some crimes were carried out for personal reasons. For most of the murders, a deserter or a person related to the tri-forces has been arrested. It is difficult to control this situation. The Media reveals them very lucidly. The police also take swift action. The government is also taking much effort to control the situation. I think we have smart, qualified personnel in the law enforcement to control underworld activities.


Q: While some politicians dash coconuts, some grind chilies. What is this situation?

A: It is a shame. It shows the international community where we are as a nation. We are indulging in the darkness of ignorance. The public representatives drag people into this pathetic situation. Amongst them, there are educated people, and people in every level. What they are asking by dashing coconuts is not to enforce law against corrupt, fraudsters and murders. How far has our conscience declined today! The ignorance of this society now is like a bark of a tree. The former political leader made all his decisions based only on ignorance. The media constantly showed him at sacred places dressed in numerous costumes here and abroad. Now it has become a system. I think these acts should be stopped by law even for some time now. These are so disgustful. On the other hand, these are businesses. Some people depend on selling coconuts. When this is the ground situation, how despicable to use coconuts to such acts! When one goes naked, the other should be careful not to be naked. But today the opposite happens. When one goes naked, others follow. We have to defeat ignorance only by realising the truth.


6 Comments for “Govt. Has To Minimize Corruption And Improve Economy – Prof. Sarath Wijesuriya”

  1. daggy

    Prof. sarath………. it is very clear that it has eminated from the horse’s mouth that the Yahapalanaya is corrupt.

    No wonder it killed Rev. Sobitha……………….
    Now an idiot left behind speaks.

  2. Patrick Rodrigo

    Ignorance reigns supreme, conscience is dead in brains full of bricks and mortar, our countryside has lost all beauty, birds, butterflies and small animals are no more.
    Wonder whether Valmiki’s blue skinned God is happy with all these coconuts being dashed to ask for his help to destroy Sita’s Island.

  3. Ranale Simon

    Since the death of our beloved Ven, Sobitha Thero, you have assumed the leadership of NMSJ, but unfortunately you have not done or spoken against the corruption or corrupt activities of any body or any institution. You seem to be blind to the excesses and corruptions committed by the Present Government. The time has come for you to stop selling the name of Ven, Sobith Thero and profit from it. Get back to the principles established by our beloved thero.






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