The Sunday Leader

What The Gov. Doing Now Is Begging – Wasantha Samarasinghe

By Ifham Nizam

Janatha Vimukthi Peramumuna, (JVP) Politburo Member Wasantha Samarasinghe says the UNP-SLFP led government is trying to sell the country’s natural resources, education, and every other thing possible. In an interview with The Sunday Leader he added, “Rajapaksa administration was defeated because of their corrupt practices and wrong economic policies. Now the thieves of the two camps had joined together, especially to target the education system of the country. We had already commenced our battle against this development. If it is necessary, we would defeat them as well, as we did to the Rajapaksas.”

Following are excerpts of the interview:

Q: Are you happy with the initiatives of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to get foreign investment to the country?

A: No…What they are doing is begging. They travel all over and enjoy themselves and beg for money. They should consult economists, local investors before they are into joy riding. Instead, they visit a country and ask for loans. This would be detrimental to the country and its people in the long run.


Q: Is the country heading nowhere, what is your views?

A: Certainly…what they are trying is to sell country’s natural resources, education and every other thing possible. The Rajapaksa administration was defeated because of its corrupt practices and wrong economic policies. Now the two camps had joined together, especially to target the education system of the country. We already commenced our battle against this development. If it is necessary, we will defeat them as we did to the Rajapaksas.

Maithri came into power promising to abolish the executive presidency. What is he doing now?…he does what Mahinda Rajapakse did. People will not tolerate such acts. When you give a pledge, you have to fulfill it.


Q: What is your view on the SLFP internal rift?

A: We don’t take it seriously.


Q: We are facing allegations by the UNHRC since the end of the war. What is your view on this issue?

A: We were granted more time and now we do nothing till it is brought up again. They are levelling the same allegations still, and we have done nothing to address them either. If we are to gain some advantage with postponement of the charges, then the government should take into account the opinions of the political parties, officials and civil organisations and prepare to face the situation at the next meeting. Just buying time alone will not do it.


Q: The President has specifically stated that no foreign judges will be included. Do you think the government committed to it without considering it properly?

A: They went in haste and just made promises without considering their consequences. We don’t need foreigners to find answers to our issues. Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim, Burgher, and Malay people live in this country. The war affected all these communities. As a country, we must discuss the issue with all parties concerned and move forward in order to resolve all these problems. But now it’s been seven years since the war ended, and our governments have been trying to address these allegations by force since then. That is where we have gone wrong. What we need to do instead is to face these issues and discuss them and then try to find solutions together. So, we all have a responsibility to act in coordination. But what is happening here is that the President says one thing, the Prime Minister says another, and the Foreign Minister says altogether different thing. This problem has now become personal issues to some. If anything goes wrong, one will blame the other. However at the end, their folly will affect the whole country.

The main issue here is not whether we have to punish or not the soldiers – senior officers or anyone else. Doing nothing is also not the solution. We have to find a way to resolve these issues amicably and for this, we certainly do not need foreign interference. This will harm our sovereignty. We believe that this UN report certainly will not benefit the country, but we have no way of escaping it either. So we have to face it and resolve it ourselves.


Q: Why is that people turn to the JVP to find solutions for their issues, but do not vote the JVP at elections?

A: Our voters have been trained and used to voting for promises and gains since our independence. Knowing this fact by heart, politicians bribe them during elections.

However, the JVP has always spoken the truth, and we have not resorted to false promises and bribed people to get their votes. That is why the JVP does not gain the required numbers at elections. We are slowly but surely making the people understand this political ploy, and we hope they will understand in time. During the last election too, we tried to make people understand, but they only wanted to topple the Rajapaksas. Now they gradually understand what we have been telling them repeatedly about these two parties.


Q: It is alleged that although investigations have commenced into many cases that the JVP complained about, these investigations have not produced proper outcome so far. What is your take on this issue?

A: When this government came into power, they promised to investigate and bring those guilty to book. However, now what is happening is that President Sirisena is looking the other way and minding his own business and Ranil Wickremesinghe is also doing the same. However, we will not allow them to turn a blind eye and ignore these crimes. It is very evident now that this government too is protecting the fraudsters and culprits and cheated the people only to come into power. We have also discovered that this government is protecting the dealmakers, and now they are also in the government. The UNP is also now working on releasing political figures by sacrificing some lower ranking officers. We ask that President Sirisena keep his promise to the people and punish the wrongdoers. Otherwise, this government cannot go forward. Investigations have already completed into about 50 cases. They are now on the tables of the director of the FCID and the Attorney General’s pending action. If they are not going to enforce the law of the country and take action against the guilty, there is no doubt that this government too is acting against the law. We will not let off, and we will continue to fight to expose the wrongdoers and push for justice.


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