Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa told Parliament, yesterday, that it was wrong for the government to try to shift all the blame to him for the country’s economic ills.
Participating in the budget debate, the former President said: “Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera, on March 05, presenting the budget debate blamed the 52-day government for all economic problems faced by people. His attempt was to shift the blame of present plight to me; he said that I was the prime minister for 52 days, forgetting that Ranil Wickremesinghe was the prime minister for 1,464 days out of 1,516 days from Jan 08, 2015 to March 5, 2019. The government appointed by President Maithripala Sirisena could actually function only for 19 days because there were court orders preventing the functioning of the cabinet and the government.
During those 19 days we could do only little for the benefit of people. During those 19 days we were able to get the consent of foreign investors to bring in around 1,000 million US dollars in investments. But following the unstable situation after Nov 14, 2018 they withdrew.
According to the Global Finance analysis Sri Lanka was on the first place in Asia on development in 2014. In 2017, Sri Lanka is vying with Afghanistan to avoid being placed last.
The incumbent government accepted the conditions put forth by the European for granting the GSP plus concession. Among those conditions were some proposals that are detrimental to the national interest. The country had to agree with the Human Rights Council in Geneva on war crimes. Thereafter, it had to set up an Office of Missing Persons. A large number of LTTE terrorists were set free. The government has been compelled to institute legal actions against many military leaders. The country’s exports stood at less than USD 11.1 billion and the government failed to improve exports by betraying the country.
In 2014, the most stable stock exchange was the Colombo stock market. Its capital was at USD 23.7 billion. Today, the corresponding figure is at USD 15.5 billion.
(Source: The Island – By Saman Indrajith)