Political stability boosts growth aims
COLOMBO: The Government’s political stability has been further
strengthened with the induction of UNP, SLMC, UPF and JHU members, Sri
Lanka Freedom Party General Secretary Maitripala Sirisena asserted
Addressing an SLFP news briefing in Colombo, Minister Sirisena said
the Government was now enjoying the support of 121 Members out of the
225 Members in Parliament, thus ensuring the stability required to take
the Mahinda Chinthana 10-year development plan forward.
He said the country has achieved an enormous victory with the dawn of
2007 with the LTTE’s defeat in the Eastern Province. The Security Forces
have been able to capture Sampoor and Vakarai areas within 14 months.
“The country has also shown significant economic growth. With the
implementation of the Mahinda Chinthana 10-year development plan, the
country is on a firm footing for accelerated growth,” the Minister said.
“With the inclusion of 18 UNP members, the Government’s strength has
increased. Though the SLFP signed a MoU with the UNP to work together to
find a solution for the ethnic issue and for the improvement of economy
without holding an election, UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake told
a meeting in Kataragama that they were seeking an election. We realised
that the UNP was conspiring to topple the Government and they violated
He alleged that though the UNP tore off the MoU when 18 UNP members
joined the Government, they did not take any action when the LTTE
violated Ceasefire Agreement 6,000 times.
He said the SLFP never abrogated the MoU. “We didn’t take these UNP
Members by force and they had a clear vision regarding Mahinda Chinthana
to develop the country.”
While conceding that the number of Ministries has increased, Minister
Sirisena said one should consider the long term economic benefits as no
elections have to be held every couple of years and there is a
possibility of a consensual solution to the ethnic issue.
The SLFP will come out with a proposal for power sharing as a
solution for the ethnic problem within the next two weeks. All other
parties will be able to present their opinions as well.
SLFP Senior Vice President Nimal Siripala de Silva said the UNP was
shedding crocodile tears over the fact that some portfolios have been
reduced in scope. In fact, many Ministers offered to sacrifice their
entire portfolios so that the Mahinda Chinthana could be taken forward.
The invitation to UNP MPs to join the Government was not the decision
of the President alone. All in the SLFP at all levels unanimously agreed
with this decision. It is a decision taken by the party as a whole.
He said this would not have become necessary if the JVP continued its
assistance to the Government. The numbers of ministries would have
declined if the JVP joined the Government. “We agreed to 18 out of the
20 proposals presented by the JVP but were unable to come to an
agreement due to the other two, which are internationally sensitive.”
Though the Government would like to maintain stability without
increasing the numbers of ministers, it is unable to do so due to
balance of power concerns of various political parties, he added.
Non-Cabinet Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardane, addressing an
earlier news conference at the same venue, said they do not see their
joining the Government as a violation of the SLFP-UNP MoU.
“It is according to the provisions of the MoU that we are supporting
the Government. The question of ministries does not arise in this
regard. The President invited us to support his vision to take the
country forward,” he said.