Leave the past two years to critics, embrace the future - Prime Minister | Sunday Observer

Leave the past two years to critics, embrace the future - Prime Minister

16 January, 2022

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said that we should take the future into our own hands, leaving the past two years to the critics. The Premier said that the two years lost due to the Covid-19 pandemic should be forgotten and we should raise hopes for the next three years. Even though the past is important to the Opposition, the Government must always accept the future, not the past.

Premier Rajapaksa was addressing the inauguration ceremony of the construction work of the second phase of the Colombo Port East Terminal on Wednesday, January 12.

Construction work on the second phase of the Colombo Port East Terminal commenced under the patronage of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa on Wednesday.

The Prime Minister said that no one should give up optimism about the country and the future, adding that the Government is dedicated to steer the country in the right direction.

The Premier said, “We should take the future into our own hands, leaving the past two years to the critics. People should not ponder on the previous two years lost due to the Covid-19 pandemic and keep hopes for the next three years instead. The past has value only to the Opposition. We must always embrace the future, not the past.”

He said the port sector development was at a standstill during the last regime as the Government did not understand the gravity of port sector development. Unlike the previous regime, the present Government has placed the development of the port sector on a rapid development track.


Chief Government Whip Highways Minister Johnston Fernando said some members of the Opposition enjoy making a bogeyman out of every issue. At a ceremony at Mawathagama recently, the Minister said that Sajith Premadasa’s and Anura Dissanayake’s factions in the Opposition had created many bogeymen over the past two years.

He said, “The Premadasa-Dissanayake duo first made a bogeyman out of the Government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. They estimated that the virus would kill at least 200,000 Sri Lankans. They instilled fear in people that they would die on the streets, without oxygen or due to a lack of hospital beds. When we first started vaccinating against the virus, they tried to scare people away by claiming that those who received the injections would die in two years.”

“They discussed various types of side and after effects of vaccines, accusing us of converting the country into a vaccine testing lab and urging people to boycott them. In the meantime, the Opposition’s so-called leaders received the vaccine one by one. Despite the allegations, we kept working. Today, this country is near the top of the list of nations that excelled in vaccinations,” he said.

The Minister said, “The Premadasa-Dissanayake combination will soon have to find another bogeyman to instill fear in the people. We will continue to develop this country in the face of adversity so that we can keep the promises we made to the people.”

Political agendas

Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa challenged fellow Opposition parties to work to meet the standards of the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB), instead of fighting to grab power.

Premadasa was speaking at the Samagi Jana Balawegayen Husmak program, marking the presentation of dialysis machines to the Base Hospital in Cheddikulam recently.

He said, “There are many politicians and political parties who call themselves the ‘Opposition’ without fulfilling their responsibility as an Opposition member. Being in the Opposition doesn’t mean criticising everything the Government does over the internet and social media. They should come out of their air-conditioned rooms and start working with us for the country, instead of trying to be active on social media and before the media.”

Premadasa said Sri Lanka needs people who will serve the country instead of carrying out political agendas in vulnerable situations.

SLPP Parliamentarian Pramitha Bandara Tennakoon said that former President Maithripala Sirisena had his feet on either side during the last Presidential Election. At a press conference at the SLPP headquarters, Tennakoon said the former President Sirisena did not accept any responsibility during his office as President from 2016. He always acted by blaming or putting the responsibility on someone else.

The SLPP lawmaker said, “The former President said yesterday that we came after him and that it would not be possible to win without his support. The former President acted with his legs on both sides in the Presidential Election.”

Tennakoon said the former President was the President of this country and the Minister in charge of the Police when the Easter Sunday attacks took place in this country.

“He is of a mindset where he puts the burden on others. That is why we need to eradicate that type of politics in this country. We urge former President Sirisena to be humble enough to take some responsibility for the activities that took place during his tenure in office.

“It should be remembered that even though we are a family, it is not possible to go on like this. As such, the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna, a stable political camp, came to power in a very short period of time,” he said.

Seven files


Former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said he had seven files related to former President Maithripala Sirisena and challenged him to a public debate on those files without making a fuss on stage. Karunanayake said that he still felt the repercussions of not raising these questions then and that he had all the information about people who were trying to get involved in politics by wearing white clothes.

At a media briefing held at the UNP political office in Thotalanga, Karunanayake said that if there is any wrongdoing, he should come for a public debate immediately which would reveal the real situation. He said that the former President should not be allowed to attack the United National Party by making baseless allegations.

Broad alliance

Former President Maithripala Sirisena said that a broad alliance led by the SLFP will be formed with the aim of changing the Government. He said that this alliance will present a wide national program and hoped that all will join this alliance.

Following the opening of a media centre at the SLFP Headquarters, he said, “The next government will be formed with those who join this national program.” He said that the SLFP will become a formidable political force within the next few months. He said that his party is against the postponement of elections.

However, SLFP General Secretary State Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera said the Government cannot be toppled with 14 SLFP MPs leaving at this moment. He said it is easy for an individual to say that the present Government can be overthrown by 14 SLFP Parliamentarians leaving the Government.

Jayasekara said that the Government will not be affected as a result of such action. He said the SLFP has not yet decided to leave the ruling Government. The SLFP leadership sometimes points out the lapses of the Government with the objective of putting the Government on the right track.

He said, “It is

 done genuinely to rectify the shortcomings of the Government and not for anything else.” He said the SLFP needs to put the Government on the proper track. As a partner of the SLPP alliance, the SLFP is now committed to give a helping hand to the Government in its forward march towards the future betterment of this country and its people.


State Minister of Transport Dilum Amunugama said that it is unfortunate that Susil Premajayantha talks about vegetable and gas prices. He forgets about how he had to pay compensation for importing substandard stocks of petrol and diesel during his tenure as Cabinet Minister. He told the media in Kandy recently, that anyone who wants to express his opinion has the right to do so.

Amunugama said, “If the discipline that prevails in an under-19 Cricket team, does not exist in the Cabinet, then it is a problem. The captain of a school cricket team makes the decisions and may win some matches and lose some. But, the players do not criticise the team in public for losing matches. I th

ink the decision made by the President is quite correct. They talk about gas and commodity prices.”

The State Minister said, “If one holds the post of a State Minister, the unity of the Government should be protected. Various views and opinions may exist. Those who want them implemented should leave and do so. You cannot have your private agendas and stay in the Government. Therefore, we ask others with dissenting views to leave before what happened to Susil Premajayantha happens to them. We in the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna are very happy

 about the President’s decision. If we too resort to similar actions, then we too deserve to be removed from our posts.”

Pull out with dignity

Youth and Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa said that the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) should pull out from the Government with dignity without going around criticising the Government. He told the media that it is better to voice such criticisms during the meeting of political party leaders and not to the public.

He said the people voted for the SLFP too, and they also represent the Cabinet of Ministers as well as the Government. With regard to the collective responsibility of the Cabinet of Ministers, Minister Rajapaksa said the SLFP is also accountable for the decisions taken by the Government.

If the SLFP members think these policies do not work out for them, it is better if they part ways with dignity without going around criticising the Government. “Our Government is not afraid of elections and we are ready to hold elections at any given time.”

“Lies being exposed”

Colombo Archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith said that the lies of those who try to deceive Catholics are being exposed one by one through the work of God.

“So, no matter how hard anyone tries to subdue us and erase what happened to us from history, it will not work. How many people tried to suppress that true story? But was it possible for them to do so?,” the Cardinal said.

He said that he learned a lot from the people who have been suffering from the loss of lives due to Easter Sunday attacks. The Archbishop was speaking while officiating at the service of commemoration on the completion of 1,000 days after the Easter Sunday bombings at the National Basilica of Our Lady in Tewatta, Ragama on Friday, January 14. The service was attended by the survivors of the suicide bomb attacks at Katuwapitiya and Kochchikade churches as well as the family members of the victims.

He said, “Despite tryi

ng to cover up the truth about the Easter Sunday attacks, it is clear that the people are getting stronger day by day and the rulers are getting more confused day by day. It is clear that these attacks were a conspiracy.”

Friction and fraction

MEP Leader Education Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said that the Government formed by the people must be protected by all stakeholders. The Minister also said that declaring issues in public that should be internally resolved through discussion will only result in friction and fraction.

He said, “In such a background, officials end up delaying the work that should be carried out for the betterment of the public.” At a meeting of the MEP members of the Avissawella electorate, Minister Gunawardena said, “The people elected this Government with high hopes at a time when the previous Yahapalana regime had brought the country’s economy to a standstill.

The country had to be closed and placed under lockdown in the face of the global corona pandemic. Therefore, the economy of the country could not be strengthened by placing it in the right direction. All parties in the Government should work together to bring the country back to normalcy, build a strong economy and fulfill the aspirations of the people.”

Stone age

UNP Deputy Leader Ruwan Wijewardene said that Sri Lanka is traveling back into the stone age while all other countries are moving ahead in technology and science. At a function held at Biyagama, Wijewardene said that the problems of the country are aggravating gradually.

He said, “The people are wondering how they can survive. A situation has arisen where food items cannot be purchased tomorrow for the same price they were bought at today.”

Wijewardene said the people’s income does not increase at the rate the prices of goods go up. At the same time even if there is money it is not possible to buy goods. As a result, there are queues for milk powder, gas and kerosene.

The newest queue to form will be the one to buy candles. He said that the CEB has asked for permission from the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka to impose a two-and-a-half-hour power cut until May this year. The Commission has granted its approval.