Parliament | Daily News


We must find solutions  to people’s problems  - COPE Chairman

The Government which was formed with the help of professionals has failed to find professional solutions to the problems of the people, said the Chairman of the COPE Committee and SLPP Parliamentarian Prof. Charitha Herath.

He told Parliament yesterday that this was the reason for the economic crisis and added that friends abroad were laughing at the Government for falling back on find solutions to the problems.

He said that he was ashamed about this situation.

Prof. Herath said that he feels saddened at the fact that people are forced to stand in queues due to no fault of theirs and when he sees their suffering.

He said that since 2008, all former Finance Ministers, Finance Secretaries and Central Bank Governors have taken the sovereign bond process forward and obtained high interest rate loans from the financial markets.

Instead of finding ways of earning foreign exchange, he noted that due to the decisions taken thus far, the issue had reached boiling point. All Finance Ministers, Secretaries and Central Bank Governors appointed after 2019 should take responsibility for what happened in those quarters, he said, adding that they had to accept that they had not done a proper evaluation of the economy.

He said that in the future people should not simply vote for people just because they come up with various concepts.

He said this country needs politicians who brings out the concepts and exposes those who legislate education, agriculture and the economy once they have won the election.

Herath noted that former Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike had revealed the group that would run the country well ahead of time and that intellectuals such as Dr. Colvin Silva and Dr. N.M. Perera were also included in this team. Professor Charitha Herath said that people should not vote for those who put forward various concepts but hide those who would be included in implementing them.

He said that the country’s economy cannot be revived by just displaying intellectuals and then later appointing others to implement agricultural policies, adding that they should all work together to rebuild the economy in the next quarter.


Discussions to  recommence Sectoral Oversight  Committees commence

The discussions to recommence the Sectoral Oversight Committees commenced yesterday. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said in Parliament that the discussions on recommencing the Sectoral Oversight Committees would be held at the residence of former Speaker Karu Jayasuriya.

He made these observations in response to SJB MP Lakshman Kiriella who queried the Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena if the Government was to recommence the function of the Sectoral Oversight Committee.

However, the matter was mooted with Education Minister Susil Preemajayantha saying that Educational Reforms would be made in consultation with the Sectoral Oversight Committees where MP Kiriella said the Education is not a subject of the Sectoral Oversight Committees and there only six of such committees.

Responding to Kiriella, Minister Premajayantha said that it could be changed just by amending Standing Orders.

He added that however the Prime Minister was in the view of introducing Sectoral Oversight Committees to few other areas including Education.


SLFP will support  All-Party Government - Maithripala

Former President Maithripala Sirisena said that the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) will give its full support of an All-Party Government.

He told Parliament yesterday that three months ago the SLFP had held discussions with the President on two occasions regarding the formation of an All-Party Government.“We discussed with several international organisations too and they all stated that if a national All Party Government would be formed they would extend their fullest support to take the country out of this financial crisis.”

He noted that they had held discussions with the United Nations, the European Union, and other international organizations, adding that they were all willing to support Sri Lanka if an all-party government is formed.

The Former President said these organizations had also inquired regarding when an election could be called and announced in order to reach a decision on extending support to Sri Lanka.


Urgent action needed to strengthen food supply chain - Opposition Leader

The whole country has been devastated by a foolish decision taken by the President overnight, said Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa.

He said that today, the country is facing a food crisis and a great famine due to his decision to ban fertilizer.

Several questions were posed to the Government in Parliament yeterday (08) under Standing Orders 27/2, regarding this crisis as to why the country was devastated due to these foolish decisions.

“The country that was self-sufficient in rice was ruined overnight by a foolish decision taken by the President and his Government to ban chemical fertilizer.

“This decision has not only led to the increase in rice prices but has paved the way in creating a food shortage in this country. It is also reported that about 1/3 of the population may face malnourishment in the future.”

The current Prime Minister also says that everyone may have to limit themselves to two meals per day, said Premadasa, adding that as a result of the escalating food prices, the protein level in the people’s diet is also reducing. “Although those responsible for creating this situation are seeking forgiveness from the people, this will not resolve the crisis.”

He said that the Government’s only solution now seems to be to make it impossible for farmers to cultivate for their livelihoods and to ask people who were engaged in other occupations to cultivate for their own needs.

However, the Opposition Leader said that it is imperative that urgent action be taken to strengthen the food supply chain to ensure that the people of this country don’t go hungry in the years to come.


Country suffering due to  incorrect fiscal policy - Gayantha

The country is facing such a grave economic recession due to the incorrect fiscal policy maintained by the Government and the President during the last years, said Samagi Jana Balawegaya MP Gayantha Karunathilake in Parliament yesterday.

He added that the people had to suffer immensely for the wrong fiscal policy implemented by the Government.

He made these observations joining the debate on the statement made by the Prime Minister on Tuesday after presenting the Supplementary Estimate.

He said further that everywhere there are fuel ques, LPG ques etc. People are looking forward to the means to survive.

He said in the Premier’s speech, he tallied the Sri Lankan economy to a malfunctioning Computer. He said that he is attempting to reset it.

“The Government did not maintain the computer properly, which was working commendably,” MP Karunathilake said. “But the issue is where could we find money to reset it. We have to find dollars to reset it. So let’s get together and work to find the money.”

He said that the people have reduced their number of meals and the amount of meals. The food security was affected due to the fertilizer ban.

Formulate viable Teacher Transfer Policy - Rohini Kumari

Samagi Jana Balawegaya Parliamentarian Rohini Kumari Kaviratne yesterday suggested the Government to formulate a viable Teacher Transfer Policy enabling the transfer of surplus teachers from schools to schools with a dearth of teachers at a time when there is an excess in the number of public servants.

She made this observation in response to the reply made by Education Minister Susil Prenajayantha to a query made by the former during the round of questions for oral answers.

Minister Pramajayantha said that some National Schools and Provincial Schools have an excess numbers of teachers and staff while others have shortages in all three mediums, Sinhala, English and Tamil.

He also said that the Government is planning to recruit 22,000 graduates who passed out from the universities in 2018, 2019 and 2020 to fill the teacher vacancies in schools.

When queried as to when the Principal appointments to National Schools which are administered by the acting Principals will be made, Minister Premajayantha said that there are 396 National Schools out of which a few have acting Principals.

He added that the Government is taking measures to categorise the schools in line with the international standards as Primary, Junior, Secondary and Senior Secondary by January next year, as the present categorization 1AB, 1C, Type 1 and Type 2 is incomprehensible to any other one in the trade. He also added that it did not mean that schools would be divided but there would be teachers to each category and an overall Principal as well.

He added with that categorization the needy number of principles would be evaluated and duly appointed.

The Minister also pointed out that many vacancies have been created even in the Administrative Service in the Education Sector as well. It has been increased to 700 by now and they would also be fulfilled soon.




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