“Based on the recommendations of the President, we will revise the laws and implement new laws to prevent children from employment. I also appeal to the IGP to complete the investigations and punish those responsible for the death of the girl at MP Bathiudeen’s residence,” she said.
She said that the parents of this girl cannot escape responsibility they had sent her to be employed as a domestic aide, knowing the child’s age. “When the parents were sending a child to be employed as a servant, they too knew that the child was underage. There are many children employed as servants at many homes in Colombo. This does not happen only to females, but even to male children. These children are our future and all 225 MPs need to take full responsibility and formulate laws to ensure that our children are never again subjected to such harassment,” she said.
She said that a pedophile list needs to be initiated in Sri Lanka like in many countries, all names of offenders should be included into that list, and the perpetrators need to be named.
Referring to the incident at the residence of MP Rishad Bathiudeen, she said that he has no moral right to represent the people of the country. “When such incidents are taking place at his own residence, what moral right has he got to speak for the rights of the people? He does not deserve to be allowed to represent the public in Parliament,” she said.
MP Gamage also proposed to estabilish a Social Services Department where all details pertaining to insecure children are fed into a system and monitored.
While 2021 has been named the year for the eradication of child labour, it is ironic that so many children have been subjected to cruelty where some have lost their lives in Sri Lanka, MP Gamage said.
She said that the country’s economy experienced a decline not after the Corona pandemic, but after the Easter Sunday attacks. MP Diana Gamage joining the debate on the 2020 Annual Report of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, expressed disbelief regarding the statements by Opposition MPs blaming the Government for the economic state of the country.
“I don’t know if these MPs have risen from the dead, when I hear them blaming the Government for the state of the economy. In fact the economy did not suffer decline solely because of the COVID crisis. Its decline began after the Easter attacks under the previous regime. The Tourism Industry collapsed with the Easter attacks and with the COVID pandemic, it took a turn for the worse,” the MP said.
She said that the situation is not as drastic as the Opposition portrays. She added that the whole world is suffering financially due to the COVID pandemic. She said that the country has also been deprived of a large block of foreign remittances as the migrant workers had to be brought back to the country due to the pandemic.