Sumanthiran bugged by Ranil signing in Sinhala
By Saman Indrajith
TNA Parliamentarian M. A. Sumanthiran told Parliament yesterday that President Ranil Wickremesinghe had started signing in Sinhala.Participating in the debate on the interim Budget, Sumanthiran said: “He normally signs in English. We are familiar with his signature. It used to be in English. He has signed the detention orders under the Prevention of Terrorism Act to detain Aragalaya activists in Sinhala. Is he trying to appeal to some sections of society by now beginning to sign in Sinhala?” Sumanthiran queried.
Sumanthiran said that economic recovery and the manner of governance went hand in hand. “This government is using the police and the military to suppress peaceful protests. When there is a march of 500 undergraduates, they send 1,000 policemen to attack them. Water cannon and tear gas are used. Now they use the PTA, too.
“You can’t expect the international community to give money to this country if that money is used to oppress the people and suppress the voice of dissent. That won’t happen.
“The government has issued a statement that the IMF staff-level meeting agreements have been reached. We are all glad. But as soon as the government statement was issued, the IMF, too, issued a statement. It says. ‘The new staff-level agreement is subject to the approval of IMF management and the Executive Board in the period ahead. Contingent on the implementation by the authorities of prior actions including financial assurances from Sri Lanka’s official creditors is needed. Budget needs to be consistent with the economic reform programme and macroeconomic framework underlined by the IMF’. It is contingent. It is not done yet. We hope that will be done, but the government has prior obligations. The government has to perform first.
“This same government announced, several weeks back,that Japan was going to lead a group of countries that come to help Sri Lanka with regard to bridging finance. We thought that was a good sign. But Japan later said that they never agreed to such. When he became the Prime Minister, the incumbent President came on TV and said that he would not hide anything from people, he would tell us the truth and he would be transparent. Now it is proven that he is not telling the whole truth. His credibility assurances are now blurred. He is now telling us what we like to hear, but that is not the whole truth.
“The President using the PTA against unarmed protesters will definitely impact on the economic recovery of this country. And that will impact on the poor people of this country mostly,” Sumanthiran said, adding that the government cannot have both securing financial assistance from the international community and suppressing the voice of dissent at the same time.”