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We Have Now Become Labourers Of The West – Dullas Alahapperuma

by Thushari Nathaniel

United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) Parliamentarian and member of the Joint Opposition Dullas Alahapperuma said the cohabitation government is ruling the country by deceiving the public. He claims that the government makes promise after promise, but has absolutely no intention of fulfilling them, since it is merely a ploy to escape from burning issues that they confronts. In an interview with The Sunday Leader he said Sri Lanka was a free country that took pride in its steadfast stand. Lamenting that today we have become lapdogs of the west, and are dancing to their tune, Alahapperuma also accuses the government of using the Tamil political issue to gain political favours of the West. He says the government doesn’t care at all about the problems the Tamil people are facing.

 

Following are excerpts of the interview:

Q: Sri Lanka was one of the founding members of the Non Aligned Movement (NAM). Yet this year for the NAM conference held in Venezuela, none of the government’s bigwigs participated. Why?

A: The 17th NAM summit was concluded last week. The Head of State of Sri Lanka did not participate in that conference; neither did the PM, Foreign Minister or the Leader of the House. A third row minister represented Sri Lanka at this NAM summit. In 1961, the world’s most matured leaders including S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike formed the Non Aligned Movement. During Sirimavo Bandaranaike’s time, it was held in Sri Lanka. Today the NAM boasts 120 members. The West wanted this summit to fail this year because they are having issues with Venezuela. The SL President including the Foreign Minister was just four aerial miles away from the conference venue. The PM was in Colombo. Yet none of them were interested in attending, and they too assisted in diluting the conference, simply to please the West. Only about 12-14 world leaders attended it. At the time, we were proud that Mrs. Bandaranaike was involved with the NAM, but today we are helping the West to dilute this movement shamelessly. We as a country that was initially involved with the setting up of this movement ought to be ashamed of ourselves for having become puppets of the West.

 

Q: There are allegations against the good governance regime that they are engaging in political revenge on the pretext of conducting investigations into corruption charges. What is your view on these allegations?

A: This is a political hunt targeting the opposition members. During the election campaign, the leaders of the current regime levelled major allegations against a large group of previous ministers, including me. A majority of these former ministers subsequently joined the good governance regime. However, suddenly, all these allegations have died down and they are portrayed as being righteous politicians. Quite ironically, they are now talking about corruption and how corrupt politicians should be punished. This clearly indicates that the government is somehow protecting these culprits and the law enforcement or investigative bodies have been instructed from some unseen hand in the government to let these politicians off the hook. This is the only conclusion we can arrive at. So, it is very clear that this witch-hunt is primarily aimed at winning over those that the government cannot tame. These investigations are not based on factual evidence as such. Although the government came into power on the promise of eradicating corruption and fraud, reportedly, the huge fraudulent transactions took place and are still taking place within the government itself. This is very clear. Recently, the media reported that a certain powerful minister is facing many allegations of corruption and that he had been summoned by the Bribery Commission 15 times and that he had not reported to them even once. However when a Joint Opposition member failed to show up, he was hauled up in the Supreme Court. So where is the justice and fair play that the government is taking about so much? Likewise, in the allegations levelled against certain officials of the Central Bank regarding the digitalisation process and the Central Bank Treasury bond issue, we saw very clearly how the government acted. The government uses these issues to their advantage. They will go all out to punish anyone in the opposition, but will be lenient and letting off the hook those within the government. This is the justice and fair play that this good governance is talking about. We do not see this government is actually following the basic principles of good governance here; they useit as a slogan they are hiding behind good governance and engaging in political vengeance.

 

Q: How satisfied are you that the government is taking genuine effort to ensure that the Tamil political prisoners get released?

A: The government has no idea about the definition of the phrase ‘political prisoner’. They are labelling some as political prisoners who have been incarcerated for engaging in terrorism activities. As I see it, many of those taken into custody today are in fact political prisoners. In some cases, they are being denied bail and remanded. Even the judges and lawyers are ready to grant bail to these defendants, but the police is being used to object and prevent these people from being granted bail, by bringing in additional charges. Anyone who knows the basic law knows the definition of the term bail and on what grounds it can be given. But the police flout all these regulations and do things according to political orders. The IGP very openly told his men in the presence of the media, not to break the law but sometimes it is alright to bend the law. Never before has a police chief made such a statement. So, how can we have any faith in the police that they will enforce the law fairly? With the state that the country is undergoing now, it is a far cry to expect justice and fairness.

 

Q: President Sirisena promised the Tamils in the North that they will be resettled within six months, but failed. Now after the UN Secretary General’s visit, he has once again promised that the resettlement will be complete within three months. On the other hand, the military claims that they cannot release lands especially in the Myliddy area due to security concerns. How do you see this development?

A: Even the deeds that the President and the Prime Minister recently distributed were prepared during the Mahinda Rjapaksa’s tenure. But they proudly distributed them as if they did those to benefit the Tamil people. I very responsibly state this because even the signature on the deeds was that of the former president. This government is using the issues of the Tamils just to gain mileage with the international organisations and certainly not out of concern or care towards the Tamil people. This is a gimmick or bait they use to get the international community on their side. This is just like their LG election gimmick. They noted more often the dates the elections will be held but the LG election is yet to be held. Initially, the subject minister said LG elections would be held by August 2015. As that did not happen, the President later said it would be held in January 2016; that too did not happen. Then they said it will be held in April this year, but still no sign of the LG elections. If you ask any of the government officials when the LG elections will be held, none of them will be able to give a straight answer. This is shameful; they are blatantly lying and are no longer even ashamed of their lies knowing that the people no longer believe them. It’s been a year and four months since the LG bodies were dissolved, but to date, no definite date is given for the elections to be held.

 

Q: It is alleged that we have allowed the West to interfere in our internal matters. How do you see this situation?

A: We have today become labourers of the West. This is very unfortunate. From 1505 to 1948, the West directly formulated our country’s every policy. From 1948 to 1972, they did it indirectly. Now again it is the same and they manipulate and mould us just as they did in the past. The irony of it is that we gladly let them manipulate us. Today UN leaders such as Assistant Secretary  for South and Central Asian Affairs in the United States Department of State are directly engaging in discussions with Diaspora LTTE agents without the presence of a single SL government representative. This is the pathetic state the country has been put to. Even in the development issues, we now take decisions according to the West. As a country, we have lost our integrity now. The West treats Sri Lanka as a Rwanda where there was clear and deliberate genocide. While they are openly accusing us of genocide, our leaders are silent and applauding them for it. This is really pathetic. We may all see certain political situations in varying ways. Yet as an independent country, there should not be party politics when we handle issues that jeopardise the country’s integrity. We were a country with respect and pride, and I don’t understand why the present leaders are demeaning our country and destroying our pride and integrity in this way.

 

Q: The Joint Opposition (JO) has now decided to oppose all VAT decisions the government made and even prepared to go to courts to defend their stance. Why do they oppose it so vehemently?

A: We are against the VAT increase since it affects many small scale businesses and destroys the country’s economy. Even with the budget, the government came up with many changes, but they had to adjust them because of our opposition. They claim that they have listened to the public views, but all know that they had to change their stance because we opposed them. The VAT increment not only affects the business community, but it also indirectly makes a huge impact on the general public. It will result in price hikes that will in turn affect the consumers. The indirect taxes have been increased by around 90 per cent. Direct taxes only affect high end earners but indirect taxes affect ordinary citizen who are already struggling to make their ends meet. Even the budget became a big joke as we proved many of their falsified figures wrong. The Finance Minister should be ashamed. We are thankful to the JVO too for supporting us to oppose the government in the VAT issue. The Finance Minister is bringing VAT increments that the courts have refused. This clearly violates the constitution and the judiciary. So the Finance Minister should be sent home. However, they are shamelessly ranting away about how the country is prospering. This is ridiculous.

 

5 Comments for “We Have Now Become Labourers Of The West – Dullas Alahapperuma”

  1. Labourers and hous maids Of disgusting arab nations…….(modern day slavery)

  2. Parakrema

    I would like to remind the so called JO which says it believes in true SLFP principles of SWRD. Those principles made us a slave nation, we were the TOP DOG of south east Asia in the fifties. Also after SWRD created a bunch of thieves who made lot of money by robbing the nations wealth.

  3. mohamed faiz

    Mr. Dullas, can you become a MP by yourself with any political party unless you contest Independent and win chances not even 50/50. Will you request your US government to Cancel your PR before you talk. Practice what you preach.

  4. renu

    Are you talking through your right mouth or from anywhere else. You are talking of being slaves of the West , but when it suits you and the family you apply for the green card from USA. > What bull dust are you talking. Give up your green card from US if you think so

  5. King

    Mr. Dallas OK being Laborers of West is better than becoming Laborers of the East …. where most Easterners are failed nations except North East China, Japan, South Korea and few other nations….

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