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We need an unchanging policy, at this critical time – UNP

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Even if a Government change is brought about in order to restore the country from the situation it is facing at present, it is necessary to set up an unchanging national policy, Deputy Leader of the United National Party (UNP) Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said.

He said further that with this objective in mind, in order to build a common platform for that purpose, a sathyagraha campaign will be launched without any discrimination of party.

He made this comment during a media briefing held at UNP Party Headquarters Sirikotha on Monday. Kariyawasam said that this sathyagraha will be held at Hyde Park in Colombo on March 25 and that everyone searching for honest solutions for the problems of the country is invited.

“The country never fell into this a situation as it is in today. Such situations never arose even in the face of rebellion by the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) or the terrorism of the LTTE. Since parents are going to work, it is the older generation who are standing in queues today. They are unable to bear the heat and fall dead. Middle class people take to the streets in the evening and engage in protests carrying placards,” Kariyawasam said.

“We have lost 40 percent of the harvest of paddy due to the lack of fertilizer. Prices of commodities are increasing daily. A gas cylinder now costs Rs. 4,000 or more. The initial salary of a government employee is Rs. 25,000. They have to spend Rs. 4,000 on a gas cylinder. Everything is increasing in price. People cannot bear this. The situation in the country is tragic,” he said.

“Due to the shortage of foreign exchange, the education of our children who are studying abroad and at affiliates of foreign universities in this country have been sabotaged. There is no one who is responsible for this situation. The country is running on auto-pilot. Since they are unable to pay gratuity, they extended the age of retirement. A situation will arise in 2025 when they will not be able to pay even pensions,” Kariyawasam said.

“The Government has a responsibility to work according to a plan to overcome this situation. The UNP has decided that even if all parties get together and there is a change in government, in order to provide solutions for these problems, a national policy for every field has to be prepared.”

“We have a responsibility to the people. This country will not benefit from a changing system. We will gather at Hyde Park on March 25 without any party affiliation and hold a sathyagraha. There should be a common platform to talk about the issues of the country. If it is done by dividing the parties, not everyone can participate. We invite all those who sincerely want to solve the problems of this country to come dressed in white. Join us as Gandhi did in India,” Kariyawasam said.

“The UNP will participate in the All-Party Conference. It will not be a case of supporting the Government. It will be possible to talk about the problems in the country. If not, it can be said that we avoided that opportunity.

“It is not relevant who will or will not participate in the conference. Our leader will participate and present our point of view. Our requirement is to rescue the people from their suffering.”

“Today the Government is asking for loans from even Russia which is engaged in a war. The Government will have to be responsible for this. There is no financial control at all in the country.

“The Government is unable to provide even the basics required for people to live. Since generators come into operation when there are power cuts, the Government does not know the suffering of the people.”

“A Government which worked in the fields of education, health, agriculture as well as all other fields was sent home and a Government without a vision was appointed and today people are suffering.

“We are not finding fault with the people. They believed the false statements that were spread among the people and voted. The Government is in a fix now, after having halted without any consideration,” Kariyawasam said.

Wednesday, March 23, 2022 – 01:00

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