United National Party (UNP) Deputy Leader Ruwan Wijewardene stated that all Opposition groups should come to the same stage to oust the government which is oppressing the people economically and socially.
Wijewardene said that although the split in Opposition groups was to the advantage of the government, it was to the detriment of the people. He also pointed out that what the
Opposition should do if it thinks about the people is not to be divided but to come on to the same platform on behalf of the people.
Wijewardene said this while participating in a UNP reorganization program in the Ampara District. These reorganization programmes were conducted in Dehiattakandiya,
Addalachchenai and Samanthurai. Wijewardene said, the government that came claiming that fertilizer would be provided free forcibly imposed organic fertilizer on the farmer and destroyed the country’s agriculture. The farmers were deceived into believing that they would be paid to produce organic fertilizer. Organic fertilizer was imported from China without any laboratory tests. As a result the country had to import unfavourable fertilizer and finally divert the Chinese sewage ship. However, due to the government taking commissions, compensation US$ 6.7 million had to be paid to the fertilizer ship. The government is saying now that there are no toxic chemicals in fertilizers. What is this government doing? Organic fertilizers have been set
aside and now chemical fertilizers have been allowed to be imported again. But the government will not bring chemical fertilizers.
“This is a strange joke. It is now up to the companies to decide the fertilizer and the selling price. Now Rs. 6,500 has to be paid for a bundle of urea. How can farmers cultivate,while paying so much for a bundle of fertilizer that was bought for 500 rupees back then?.
Farmers say that they will have to sell a kilo of paddy at least at Rs.200 per kilo after cultivating with chemical fertilizers at this price. If a farmer gives a kilo of paddy for Rs. 200
a kilo, a kilo of rice will cost Rs. 400. The farmer and the consumer are finished.The incapable government has now brought the people to the point of killing them without
actually doing so. If the farmer does not cultivate, there may be a famine next year.The government allows organic fertilizer companies to import and sell chemical fertilizers while preaching. Permission has now been granted to import weedicides and even insecticides. If this is being done why is there a government? People today have no way to live. The cost of living has gone up by 200%. People’s salaries have not increased. It has now been proved to the entire country that it is a government that cannot function and is incapable. The government does not have a proper program to solve the dollar crisis. We have US$ 2 billion in foreign reserves.
“When gold is deducted from that it is about US$ 1.5 billion.That is the size of our real foreign reserves. By next year, we will have to repay about US$ 5 billion in foreign debt.We do not have the money to pay that amount.The country is already bankrupt.