Speaking to the media after a religious programme at the Parama Dhamma Chethiya Pirivena Temple in Ratmalana on September 17 to mark the birthdays of President J.R. Jayewardene and Anagarika Dharmapala, he said that the wrongdoings and anti-democratic actions of Government ministers has tarnished the image of the country internationally.
“The people have been severely pressured as a result of their actions. Since this Government came to power, the youth have been deprived of their rights. A youth has no right to express his views freely. If they do so, the CID would arrest them. Journalists are constantly summoned to the CID for questioning. The union leaders don’t have the right to raise issues affecting them and even university students don’t have the freedom to talk about issues affecting them. This is the unfortunate predicament the country is in today,” he said.
Wijewardene said that the Government is snatching away the democratic rights of the people like never before in history. He said that if the Government continues in this manner, the country will have to face dangerous consequences. “We will have to face not only the loss of GSP + but also other sanctions.” Commenting on the recent incident involving State Minister Lohan Ratwatte, he said that resigning from his ministerial position alone is inadequate, adding that despite resigning from one ministerial post, he still holds another ministerial post. “An impartial investigation should be conducted regarding the incident and he should be removed from all posts that he holds,” Wijewardene said. Also commenting on the recent resignations he said the Chairman of the Paddy Marketing Board and the Governor of the Central Bank resigned recently. “They are not the only ones, many others have resigned from their posts in the recent past. Many of the most talented doctors and officials in the health sector have also resigned.
This shows the failure of the Government and is proof that officers are not allowed to carry out their work independently,” he added.
Wijewardene also noted that this Government does not have a vision, policy or programme to build the country’s economy. He said, 6.9 million people voted with confidence in the President and the Government. “Today their hopes have been dashed. They are lost. The country is helpless. I do not think anyone will be able to revive the country’s economy, not even Ajith Nivard Cabraal”.
He also said that Ranil Wickremesinghe is not silent on these issues. “He is doing his job very well. He recently submitted a proposal to the Government to protect the lives of the people and take the country forward in the face of the spread of the coronavirus. He is also fulfilling his role in Parliament.”