Let’s work together to build country | Daily News
President tells SJB :

Let’s work together to build country

Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa and a Samagi Jana Balawegaya met President Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday. Picture courtesy President’s Media Division
Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa and a Samagi Jana Balawegaya met President Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday. Picture courtesy President’s Media Division

President Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday suggested to the Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) to name the proposed government as an All-Party Administration if they do not agree to name it as an All-Party Government.

The President mentioned this during the discussion with the Samagi Jana Balavegaya led by Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa held yesterday afternoon.

The President said that he invited all parties to join an All-Party Government and the negotiations with the political parties for that are under way.

The country’s economy is in a dire situation and to get the country out of this situation, all must unite and take

the ministerial positions of the Government and form an All-Party Government. We must work to build this country and I invite SJB to join the All-Party Government and work with us. All of you have worked with me and we can work together without any issue”, the President added.

He cited an instance where the main Opposition in the British Parliament assumed ministerial portfolios in 1941

while holding the position of Leader of the Opposition. “The entire Parliament was made into a government and we can follow that example,” he said.

“In the 1977 regime change, 5/6th power was achieved by the government and that power was utilized to build the country. But now even with a 6/5 power, the country cannot be built without an All-Party Government which is the only option.

He said that he had to impose emergency regulations due to violent activities. But I have no hope of continuing the emergency. However, certain laws must be brought up for the implementation of upcoming economic program. Emergency law is needed for that.”

Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa addressing the meeting proposed to take forward the 19th Amendment to the constitution. “On that day, as the Prime Minister, you provided leadership to bring the 19th Amendment which was a very good step. Therefore, we request the move be carried forward further.

“Also, the number of members of the Constitutional council has been increased under the 19th Amendment and we recommend the condition under the 19th Amendment restored.

“The economic burden on the people is the biggest problem in the country today. We must focus our attention on finding solutions to this problem.

The Opposition Leader also demanded that the current Emergency law be revoked immediately. Establishing sectoral oversight committees in the Parliament is not enough and we suggest focusing on the formation of more committees.

He said that his party participated in this discussion with a positive attitude. We must join the discussions as a country.

SJB Parliamentarian Rajitha Senarathna said “Although the perpetrators of violence must be punished, the law must not be applied against the persons who engaged in the peaceful struggle.

We are happy with the Policy statement that you presented to the Parliament recently. I would like to mention that the program of our team is similar.

MP Sarath Fonseka pointed out that alleviating corruption had been the major demand of all the persons who engaged in the struggle. He said that special focus should be laid on ending corruption. We all have the responsibility of building a corruption-free country. Creating an all-party government is not helpful and I do not see it as a solution to the existing problem. We need to find immediate solutions to the problems faced by the country and the people at present.”

SJB General Secretary Ranjith Madduma Bandara, Members of Parliament Mano Ganeshan, Kabir Hashim, Dr. Harsha de Silva also spoke.

Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, Secretary to the President Saman Ekanayake and the President’s Additional Secretary Attorney-at-Law Chaminda Kularatne were also present.

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