ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Vol. 41 - No 42

Ranil: Rajapaksa Samagama plundering the country

By Chandani Kirinde

Opposition UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday accused a company called the Rajapaksa Samagama of skimming ten percent from 65 percent of the National Budget and said the present Government was riddled with Beeshanaya (terror), Dushanaya (corruption) and Rajapaksa Poshanaya (nourishment for the Rajapaksas).

Speaking at a special party convention at Sirikotha, an upbeat Mr. Wickremesinghe said the cost of living was spiralling out of control because the Rajapaksa Samagama was creaming ten percent off. The result was the need to print money and inflation.

The mood at the convention was one of optimism with several of the speakers predicating there would be a UNP government by the end of the year.

“Go back to your villages and start work now and we can have a UNP government before the year ends,” the party’s Galle district parliamentarian Gayantha Karunatilleke told the members.

Several speakers accused the government bigwigs of corruption, inefficiency and lying to the people at the 2005 presidential campaign. They expressed relief at the defection of 18 dissident members to the government, saying the party had been reinvigorated after they left.

Mr. Wickremesinghe said media freedom was being stifled with editors being told not to print the truth while abductions and killings continued unabated.

He said the world’s richest man Bill Gates had worked for 15 years to make all his money while the richest man in Asia Lakshmi Mittal had also worked for years to earn his billions. “But people who did not have a bank account 15 months ago have become millionaires today,” he said.

The Opposition Leader also read out a price list of essential goods and compared the present prices with those of eight months ago.

Earlier in the day, the party unanimously adopted changes to its constitution, abolishing the post of deputy leader, a post held by dissident leader Karu Jayasuriya, and reconstituting its national executive committee.

Several amendments were effected, giving wider representation to women in the executive committee and other sub committees. They also resolved to expedite party reforms that were initiated several months ago. Mr. Wickremesinghe also handed over letters of appointment to 72 electoral organisers.

General Secretary Tissa Attanayake told the new organisers that within 30 days they should set up their offices equipped with telephones and fax machines and start party work.

Among some of the organisers given their letters of appointment yesterday were Abdul Cader – Gampola, Sriyani Daniel – Hewaheta, Kesera Senanayaka – Kandy, Lakshman Kiriella -Senkadagala,Renuka Herath -Walapane, Ravi Karunanayaka- Kotte, Ruwan Wijewardena – Biyagama, Joseph Michael Perera- Negombo, John Amaratunga-Wattala, Jayalath Jayawardena-Ja-ela, Dayasiri Jayasekera – Panduwasnuwara, Akila Viraj Kariawasam – Kuliyapitiya, Chandrani Bandara – Anuradhapura North and P. Harrison – Kalawewa.

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.