Long-term plan needed to resolve present crisis – Ranil

Ranil Wickremesinghe - Prime Minister of Sri Lanka

Leader of the United National Party Ranil Wickremesinghe says the government is facing grave challenges, due to the lack of an effective programme to address economic turmoil brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking at public gathering in Weligama, the former Prime Minister said the prevailing crisis cannot be resolved without a long-term plan.

He noted “What are two options the government has? One is to refrain from imposing curfew and a lockdown. The coronavirus will spread, some lives will be lost and the economy will weaken. The other option is to impose curfew to control the spread of coronavirus and the economy will collapse. They are stuck either way. From one side the economy will collapse if the virus spreads and from the other side the economy will collapse if curfew is imposed. Can they move forward for another week by imposing curfew? It will happen again in a few months if it is not controlled. The government is in a difficult spot. There are economic and political issues on either side. What is the decision they will reach? That is where the government is stuck today.”

UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe meanwhile called for those who are making false claims pertaining to funds received amidst the COVID-19 pandemic to be brought to book.

Wickremesinghe said “We cannot trust the Health Ministry. Who is lying? The Prime Minister or the Health Minister? In such an instance can’t we have a Minister who will direct their attention towards the matter every day? Today no one believes the officials because the trust has been broken. What happened to the funds? Who is lying? Is the Cabinet Paper presented by the Prime Minister correct or is Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi’s statement correct? I would like to ask the government who is lying. One of them must come forward and the other one must report to the CID immediately.”

(Source: News Radio)