JHU won’t back No-Confidence motion

Patali Champika Ranawaka

The Jathika Hela Urumaya yesterday (26 March) asserted that they would not be supporting the No-Confidence motion brought against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe by the Joint Opposition.

Addressing a media briefing at the party headquarters last morning, JHU General Secretary and Megapolis & Western Development Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said that the No-confidence motion was based on unfounded charges.

“The No-Confidence motion is based on issues arising from the Central Bank bond scam. However, the Government has taken effective action in this regard and even apprehended some of those involved,” he said.

He went on to say that the Government has taken several steps to tackle the country’s largest financial scandal.  “Investigations were carried out, a Presidential Commission of Inquiry was appointed and now two of the main culprits have been apprehended and remanded. Our nation has a void to fill when it comes to laws on financial crimes but the Government is already in the process of bringing in new legislations to deal with this problem. New laws will help ensure that no such white collar crimes are committed in the future.”

He noted that the ideal outcome would be to penalise all those involved, and to have the monies stolen returned to the Treasury.

“It’s not only Arjun Mahendran who’s still at large abroad. Even former ambassador to Russia and Ukraine Udayanga Weeratunga is still on the run. This Government intends to take penalising action against these individuals in accordance with the law, unlike the former regime that used ‘law of the jungle’ tactics. We hope that Mahendran is caught and that all the stolen money is returned to the country.”

However, the Minister pointed out that the masses had struck a heavy blow against the Government at the concluded LG polls. “The Government has made many mistakes and the people showed their disapproval at the Local Government Elections. There is still time for the Government to rectify their errors. Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s popularity has been decreasing steadily over the past several years. It is only a few mainstream media outlets that skewed this fact and created a false misconception among the masses that the former President is gaining more votes.”

The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) yesterday (26 March) rejected allegation that they were involved in the recent ethnic riots that occurred in some parts of the country, and called on authorities to reveal the names of politicos involved.

Addressing a media briefing held at the Party headquarters yesterday, JHU General Secretary Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said that investigations had proved that the JHU had no involvement in the communal unrest. “Police investigations have exonerated us from any allegations that we were involved in the recent communal violence. We had nothing to do with it. It is those ‘pohottuwa’ members who make these allegations that are really behind the riots,” he said.The Minister went on to say that a majority of those responsible for the communal violence were supporters of former President Rajapaksa. “The ‘pohottuwa’ supporters have a violent past. They are the ones responsible for this. Now they are trying to hide their bloody past by wearing ties and coats. The people will not be fooled.”

He then urged the police to reveal the names of politicians behind the ethnic violence.

(Source: Daily FT – By Skandha Gunasekara)

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