“At that point I wondered whether I was dreaming” – Wimal recalls LNG deal in Cabinet

Wimal Weerawansa

“At that point I wondered whether I was dreaming” said Minister Wimal Weerawansa, recalling the instance when the cabinet paper on the controversial LNG power plant deal was approved within the Cabinet.

11 Government-affiliated parties including the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), joined hands with a number of other organizations as the ‘People’s Council’, to voice their opposition against the controversial LNG power plant deal.

Among the representatives of the 11 Government affiliated parties were Wimal Weerawansa, Udaya Gammanpila, Dayasiri Jayasekera, Prof. Thissa Vitharana, Tiran Alles, A.L.M. Athaulla, Asanga Nawarathne, Gevindu Kumaratunga, and Weerasumana Weerasinghe.

Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thero, Ven. Omare Kassapa Thero, Ven. Muruttetuwe Ananda Thero,  and Ven. Prof. Medagoda Abeyathissa Thero had also attended the meeting.

Minister Wimal Weerawansa, speaking at the meeting said that when the Cabinet paper was submitted, the Minister of Finance had spontaneously submitted a paper to the Secretary of the Cabinet, who said that he was unaware of it.

Although a cabinet paper is usually explained by the Secretary to the Cabinet, this relevant paper was explained by the Finance Minister, Minister Wimal said.

“Although I haven’t been in the cabinet of ministers for a long time, I have never encountered a situation like this before,” Minister Wimal said.

Weerawansa further stated that when several persons himself and Gammanpila were discussing what happened, the cabinet minutes came out, which mentioned that after a lengthy explanation made by the minister of Finance on the matter, the cabinet of ministers agreed to these decisions.

“At that point I wondered if I was dreaming. That was how this deal was approved. I will say this in court, there was no discussion held on the matter. This was brought in secret. We cannot agree to all of this just to hold on to our ministerial portfolios, and act against our conscience like this. We are not of such a culture,” he said.

Meanwhile, Minister Udaya Gammanpila also speaking at the meeting said that although the previous eras of former Presidents J.R. Jayawardena, Premadasa and Chandrika were full of corruption, he must regrettably say that a situation like this, the LNG Cabinet Paper, had never taken place before.

“This American company will be able to decide if they want to keep Sri Lanka in the dark or not. If they keep Sri Lanka in the dark and demand for action to be taken against our war heroes, what can we do? If they demand that we bring in a federal constitution what can we do? We must point out that as long as gas power plants are there in Sri Lanka, the key to controlling Sri Lanka has been handed over to the Americans through this contract. if we continue to hold on to our ministerial portfolios and agree with everything that they do, future generations in our country will curse us,” Minister Gammanpila emphasized.

He added that while giving out a message to the American agents that the 11 parties that convened are ready to sacrifice not only their ministerial portfolios but any and everything needed to oppose this, he invited the entire nation to join them in the struggle to save the country.

State Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera also added that none of the Cabinet members are still aware of what kind of an agreement has been signed with the company New Fortress.

Jayasekara said that as 2 more agreements will be signed along with this agreement, their proposals have been invited to be submitted, however the 11 parties are formulating a plan on how they are going to work on that.

Moreover, Ven. Prof. Induragare Dhammarathana Thero inquired for the reason for Ministers and Parliamentarians complaining to them as there is nothing they are in power to do. The peoples frustration towards the actions of the Government continues to grow, the Thero said.

(Source: News 1st)