Mahindananda tells Mangala: Mind your party’s business | Sunday Observer

Mahindananda tells Mangala: Mind your party’s business

UNP Parliamentarian Mangala Samaraweera making a rare appearance in Parliament after the Presidential Election gave a lengthy speech in the well of the House being highly critical of the new Government’s economic policy. State Minister of Power Mahindananda Aluthgamage who rejected MP Samaraweera’s claims called upon the UNP politicos to mind the issues within their party and to set their house in order first without questioning the Government’s economic strategies.

State Minister Aluthgamage who dealt a verbal blow to Samaraweera’s remarks told the House that the entire country witnessed the histrionics of Samaraweera when he was the Finance Minister. He said the Yahapalana Government lost its foothold because of the conduct of Samaraweera. State Minister Aluthgamage said Samaraweera is the one who came out with war crime allegations against his country and added that he is always on the NGO bandwagon cow towing to foreign forces.

He also said it is alright for Samaraweera to make such absurd statements and derive pleasure out of it. He may be waiting to become the Finance Minister once again but that can never be realized in this life.

Before State Minister Aluthgamage wound his speech, Samaraweera was getting ready to leave the Chamber. Then the State Minister told Samaraweera that it is better if he could listen to the rest of his speech and leave the Chamber thereafter.

Aluthgamage questioned Samaraweera in a vociferous manner whether he doesn’t have the backbone to listen to his speech. However, Samaraweera was seen leaving the Chamber without listening to the State Minister.

The State Minister told the House whenever the UNP ran a Government it always increased taxes, put the burden on the masses and swindled public funds. Whenever we were in the Government, we slashed taxes, lifted the pressure off from people and gave them concessions and facilities as much as possible.

State Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara who spoke after State Minister Aluthgamage was also critical of the speech made by Samaraweera. He said “When I listened to Mangala Samaraweera’s speech, I conjured up the image of the Devil chanting ‘Pirith’ before us.

The people however, reacted by sprinkling ‘dummala’ and exorcising the Devil forever! Nobody listens to Mangala’s ‘Pirith’, veteran Parliamentarian Nanayakkara remarked in lighter vein and added that if one follows Samaraweera’s steps, one will surely end up at ‘Kanatte’.”

Mangala Samaraweera in his speech vehemently criticized the Government’s economic strategy and said the Government has failed to deliver on the pledges made to the public.

He said the present Government cancelled all productive programs implemented by the former Government. When State Minister Nanayakkara interrupted MP Samaraweera, the latter turned towards Nanayakkara and told him in lighter vein, “When everything is being slashed today and if this trend continues surely my friend Vasu’s mustache might soon catch fire.” However, MP Samaraweera appreciated the speech of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa during the Independence Day celebrations.

He said the President should ensure that he doesn’t come under the influence of reactionary forces. Although all leaders wanted to do something for the country, unfortunately they came under the influence of reactionary forces.

The President needs to make strong decisions within democratic traditions in the larger interest of the country.”

UNP Parliamentarian Ranjan Ramanayake’s controversial leaked telephone conservations once again turned into a hot topic in the well of the House. UNP MP Hirunika Premachandra questioned why the MPs could not obtain copies of the CD containing the telephone call recordings handed over by MP Ramanayake to the Parliament Hansard Department.

MP Premachandra said when she went to the library to obtain a copy of the CDs, they refused to give her a copy. She said there was a big hue and cry following Ramanayake’s leaked telephone recordings which caused much embarrassment to her. Later a decision had been taken at the Party Leaders’ meeting on Friday, February 7 to release seven telephone call recordings presented in Parliament by MP Ramanayake.

It had also been decided that prior to release of the CDs to re-edit the recordings deleting indecent language and any matters relating to national security.

UNP Parliamentarian Hesha Vithanage indulged in some criticism of the state media when Media Minister Bandula Gunawardana was in the Chamber.

Minister Gunawardana losing his composure flatly rejected the MP’s claim and told him the entire country could witness as to how the media was abused by the Yahapalana Government.

Those days, they even brought ‘crocodiles’ and ‘sharks’ to the TV stations not for anything but to sling mud at President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Chief Government Whip Johnston Fernando disclosed to the House the details of a monumental sum of Rs.2.8 billion spent for the purchase of vehicles during the tenure of the former Yahapalana Government.

The Minister who responded to a query by JVP Parliamentarian Nalinda Jayatissa told the House that the JVP is also part and parcel of this as it also strove to protect the Yahapalana Government and also tried its best to prevent that Government from being toppled at various critical stages.

The Minister told the JVP members that they can’t simply wash their hands by just raising questions on the issue and making suggestions.

Minister Fernando said the JVP being a stronger supporter of the Yahapalana regime could have objected to the purchase of vehicles and cut down on waste so that the outstanding issues of pensioners and scan machines could have been resolved.

However, State Minister Amaraweera responding to the vehicle issue denied the fact that a Mercedes Benz vehicle worth Rs,42 million had been provided to him during the Yahapalana regime.

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa responding to a question by UPFA Parliamentarian Anuradha Jayaratne told Parliament that not a single recipient of the houses of the new villages constructed by the National Housing Development Authority during the period 2015 to 2019 have received deeds confirming ownership.

The Premier said the number of actual housing units constructed is far less than stated. He said the previous Government claimed that 2,562 model villages consisting of 65,097 houses were constructed during the period 2015 to 2019.

On the contrary, during that period only 9,604 houses in 367 model villages had been constructed. State Minister of Housing Indika Anuruddha referring to the question said former Housing Minister Sajith Premadasa had spent one billion rupees as publicity for the 367 model villages.

At this point Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa sought permission from the Prime Minister to ask an additional question over his statement but Premier Rajapaksa told Premadasa that he could direct his question to State Minister Indika Anuruddha.

Chief Government Whip Minister Johnston Fernando who responded to a question raised by UPFA Parliamentarian Udaya Gammanpila on the former Government’s one million job program said that Government had not implemented its much-advertised one million job program though it was one of its key election pledges.

Minister Fernando said the former Government cheated the youth by promising one million jobs. The Minister said this proves that the youth and the people cannot be cheated any longer.

UNP Parliamentarian Kabir Hashim in response said the statistics at the ETF would testify to the increased number of jobs during the tenure of the former Government.