Sajith Premadasa helped Govt group reunite - Thevarapperuma | Sunday Observer

Sajith Premadasa helped Govt group reunite - Thevarapperuma

1 August, 2021

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa expressed the hope that more countries would be inspired by Sri Lanka’s bold approach to sustainably transform its agricultural system to organic agriculture to ensure food security and nutrition for future generations.

The President was addressing the virtual session of the Pre-Summit of the UN Food System Summit on July 26. The Pre-Summit took place in Rome from July 26–28 in partnership with the Government of Italy.

President Rajapaksa said, “The right to food is a fundamental human right, adding that though the Governments act individually to safeguard this right for their people, they must broaden their understanding of the complexities of the global food system.

“Sri Lanka is inherent with an agriculture deeply entwined with a long-lasting, ancient and yet highly advanced irrigation system.

Therefore, sustainable organic agriculture is not new to this country. The President said measures will be taken to revitalise historic practices with new scientific advances and management techniques,” he said.

The President said that although mankind is socially, politically and economically diverse, the challenges they face are universal. President Rajapaksa said that these challenges could not be faced alone and that collective action was needed to overcome them.


Former UNP parliamentarian Palitha Thevarapperuma said that it was Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa who helped the Government group which was in tatters to get back together again by bringing in a No Confidence Motion (NCM).

The Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) brought in a NCM at a time when they should not have done so. Without bringing in an NCM against the Government, they presented it against a single minister (Udaya Gammanpila).

Due to Sajith’s ignorance, the Motion was brought against an individual and it led to the unity of the Government members.

Addressing a media briefing at the UNP headquarters, Sirikotha recently, Thevarapperuma accused the Opposition Leader and his cronies who left the UNP and formed a new party of being traitors.

He said, “Opposition Leader Premadasa has not yet been able to abolish Diana’s Parliamentary seat. Representatives of Pradeshiya Sabhas who realised that there was no proper procedure in the SJB, have returned to the UNP fold and we will set up a Government under the leadership of Ranil Wickremesinghe, using their strength.

“People are critical of the Government. Everything, including the economy, education, health, tourism and agriculture have collapsed today. Children are desperate today since they cannot afford to buy a telephone for online studies,” he said.

Thevarapperuma said, “Earlier, when a child was asked to draw a farmer, they drew a farmer carrying an agricultural implement on his shoulder. Today they drew a farmer holding a placard and engaged in a protest asking for fertiliser”. He said that Sajith Premadasa has helped bolster the Government group’s standing by bringing in a NCM.

CID questions Harin

The CID on Wednesday (July 28) questioned SJB Parliamentarian Harin Fernando over a controversial statement he made on the 2019 April Easter Sunday terror attacks. MP Fernando, who came to the CID Headquarters in Colombo around 10.30 a.m. left the CID around 3.30 p.m., after a marathon five-hour session where he gave statements and answered questions on his statements pertaining to the deadly attacks, which killed nearly 260 and injured 550 people in Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa.

He was accompanied to the CID building by Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa, SJB General Secretary Ranjith Madduma Bandara, SJB Media Spokesman Manusha Nanayakkara and several others.

MP Fernando told the media gathered outside the CID, that he informed then Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe about his father’s prediction.

Wickremesinghe had told Fernando to inform the CID investigators to note that fact down. MP Fernando said he is always ready to cooperate with investigators on this or any other issue.

Opposition Leader Premadasa told the media that the SJB would always stand for and with MP Harin Fernando and their forward march cannot be halted by these attempts of the Government.

Covid clusters

State Minister Nimal Lanza said that the Opposition is creating Covid clusters all over the country. He said “At a time when not only Sri Lanka, but the whole world is facing the deadly Covid-19 pandemic, the Opposition is not acting with responsibility by helping to protect the people of the country from the Covid scourge.

Instead, they are organising countrywide protests without even following the minimum health guidelines and working to create Covid-19 clusters across the country.

Lanza said, “The Opposition should pay more attention to fulfilling its basic responsibility. This is not election time and is certainly not the opportune movement for trying to fulfill political agendas.

Today, Sri Lanka is implementing one of the fastest vaccination programs in South Asia. The people are showing great enthusiasm to get vaccinated.”

The State Minister said, “The Opposition brought a No-Confidence Motion (NCM) against Minister Udaya Gammanpila which only helped further strengthen the Government.

There may be differences of opinion between the constituent parties representing the Government on certain issues. This is normal in a democratic society. The Opposition tried to create a rift in the Government and only succeeded in shooting itself in the foot by bringing the NCM which has caused another split among Opposition groups.”

SLFP meets President

The SLFP led by former President Maithripala Sirisena met President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on July 26. According to media reports President Rajapaksa had a nearly two-hour long discussion with SLFP Leaders at the Presidential Secretariat.

The meeting was based on a written request made to the President by the party.

Following the meeting, SLFP leaders told reporters that they had a very positive meeting with the President.

Before the meeting, representatives of SLFP had a meeting held with the Party Chairman former President Maithripala Sirisena at his official residence in Mahagamasekera Mawatha.

Maithripala Sirisena, who arrived in Galle recently for the reorganisation of the SLFP, told the media that he has not thought of leaving the Government and that such a request has not yet come from the party members. He said that the party should be strengthened first.

“Not the main party”

SLPP General Secretary MP Sagara Kariyawasam said the SLFP should keep in mind that they are not the main party in the present Government but Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP).

Kariyawasam told the media at the Party Headquarters on July 26 following the successful conclusion of a much-awaited discussion between the SLFP and the President on the same day.

He said, “Some of the MPs in the SLFP are still holding on to that old mentality, that they are the main party.

Because SLFP was the main party in every alliance formed before.

So, they held more power within those alliances. But right now, SLFP is not the main party. The main party in the alliance is the SLPP.”

Kariyawasam said, “I believe that their leaders who are politically mature have understood this. Some are making various statements without understanding it. But I believe that we may be able to move forward positively by solving everything. We hope that as a party.”

Loan settled

Co-Cabinet spokesman and Mass Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that the Government has settled the biggest installment of US$ 1 billion due this year for foreign loans obtained by the Government on time.

Addressing the weekly Cabinet press briefing, the Minister said the Government has succeeded in managing the country’s cash flow smoothly even during a period where the whole world was suffering from a huge financial crisis resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.

He alleged that various groups levelled charged that the Government had no capacity to pay this loan installment, although none of them forwarded any proposals on how to settle the loans.

Minister Rambukwella said, “Certain economic experts from the Opposition repeatedly stated in Parliament that the country is not in a position to settle the loan installment due by July 26 since the foreign reserves had drained. Even ratings agencies like Fitch Ratings also critically spoke about Sri Lanka’s economic issues.” He said however, the bond was settled without causing an impact on Sri Lanka’s foreign reserves, by managing the country’s cashflows intelligently.

Declines request

Former Minister Mangala Samaraweera has declined a request made by the Samagi Jana Balawegaya to return to active politics. At a press brief held by Samagi Jana Balawegaya on Wednesday (July 29), SJB Working Committee member Rehan Jayawickreme invited former Minister Samaraweera to rejoin active politics through the SJB.

Responding to the invitation, in a post in his official Facebook page, Samaraweera has said that Sri Lanka Podu Jana Peramuna and Samagi Jana Balawegaya are two sides of the same coin.

He has said that the country is desperate for “a total u-turn in its policy direction. I decided to come into active politics in 1988 from the SLFP, which I felt was the most ‘liberal’ political party at the time (despite some of its dubious past policies especially in 1956 and 1970) - in the face of extra-judicial killings carried out by killer squads in the south from both ends of the divide.

“In 1994, the country elected Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, the most liberal minded President so far and in 2005, I actively participated in Mahinda Rajapaksa’s campaign believing that he would continue with the earlier policies,” he said.

‘True Patriots’

Meanwhile, Former Minister Samaraweera a couple of days ago held the inaugural discussion of the ‘True Patriots’ movement at the Freedom Hub in Colombo, where he stressed the importance of embracing liberal democratic values and maintaining a “radical” middle path. He was joined by a number of civil society activists, independent politicians, professionals, and members representing the youth.

PMC opened

The Presidential Media Centre (PMC) was opened on Thursday (July 29) under the patronage of Senior Advisor to President, Lalith Weeratunga. President’s Senior Advisor Lalith Weeratunga said that he believed that the Presidential Media Centre would help to build a comprehensive new media culture that goes beyond the popular media culture.

At the first press conference, the journalists were briefed on the progress and future plans of the Covid-19 vaccination drive.

Director General of the President’s Media Division Sudewa Hettiarachchi said that it is the responsibility of all the journalists to make the Presidential Media Centre a unique facility for sharing accurate information.

Spokesperson to the President, Kingsley Rathnayaka highlighted that the Presidential Media Centre could be introduced as one of the foremost steps taken to fulfill the President’s promise to provide accurate information to the public as envisioned in the national policy framework “Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour”.

Ranjan Ramanayake writes to fans

Former SJB Parliamentarian Ranjan Ramanayake, who was sentenced to a four-year prison term for Contempt of Court by the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka, has written to his fans from prison.

The four-paged letter dated May 12, 2021 inquires after the wellbeing of the public during the Covid-19 pandemic while stressing on his difficulties as an artiste on being deprived of constant communication with his fans due to being in prison. Ramanayake had requested his fans to write back at Ranjan Ramanayake, Y Division, Sri Lanka Prison, Angunakolapelessa, as fan letters will be a boost to his lonely struggle.