It is perhaps the largest wooden table in Sri Lanka though it is not for dining or drinking. Unveiled this week, it would easily be one on which many a decision that enters chapters of Sri Lanka's history is made.
I thought I should write to you to wish you for your sixty-sixth birthday and I am sure you wouldn’t realise that my wishes come late because everyone is falling over each other in trying to congratulate you on your birthday and get in to your good books.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa, as Minister of Finance, presenting the 2012 Budget made the unexpected announcement that he was devaluing the rupee by 3 percent immediately. He said: "We need to reduce the import cost and increase export revenue. When our currency has strengthened, our trading partners' currencies have depreciated. So I propose to devalue the currency by 3 per cent with effect from today."
Last week, the spectacle of ordinary people battering on the doors of the Colombo High Court and abusing two of the three judges who sat on the Trial-at-Bar in the White Flag case, which case resulted in the piling up of another jail term of three years on Sri Lanka's former Army Commander, was unprecedented by all accounts even in this country's unfortunately chequered history.
Officials closely went through video footage of Parliament proceedings on budget day. The purpose was to ascertain the trajectory of a water bottle. It had landed near President Mahinda Rajapaksa's feet splashing some water on him.
The commotion in Parliament when UNP MPs brought placards and shouted slogans during the presentation of the 2012 Budget offered yet another example of the shameful depths to which government MPs could descend in their conduct. It also came off as yet another fiasco in the UNP's pathetic scorecard as the country's main opposition party. Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe's 'tactics' just backfired.
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