Sri Lanka's ex-actress MP takes communal swipe
By Our Political Correspondent
Nov 24, 2015 17:38 PM GMT+0530 | 8 Comment(s)
ECONOMYNEXT - Sri Lanka's out of work film actress turned legislator Geetha Kumarasinghe was cut short in parliament for busting her time limit, but she took a parting communal shot before being forced to sit down.
When repeatedly told that her allocated 10 minutes were up, Kumarasinghe nagged that she was being cut short while ethnic minority Tamil members from the north were being given more time.
"For the (Tamil) north you give 30 minutes, but we are given only 10," Kumarasinghe said after having squandered her time on a monotonous drone lamenting the lifting of taxes on imported English and Tamil dramas.
She was probably unaware that MPs are allocated time by their respective parties and not by anybody else.
Speaking on the 2016 budget, she complained that the removal of the highly discriminatory tax was somehow the death knell of the Sinhala tele-dramas which had been subsidised by tax payers using revenue from high quality English and Tamil entertainment.
She said former president Mahinda Rajapaksa built the Ranminitenna film studious using the tax on foreign programs, but failed to mention why the film-location centre set up in Hambantota had become a white elephant becoming a bigger burden on tax payers.
Kumarasinghe, whose parliamentary seat could be taken away as a result of the on-going court case challenging her becoming a lawmaker while holding Swiss nationality, also criticised the government for liberalising the import of gold.
She said the gold import licences for 50 bidders would somehow affect gold ownership in the country. However, she failed to explain her logic, possibly a new challenge for her script writer.
She also faulted the government for not taking action to secure a pardon for a Sri Lankan maid condemned to be stoned to death in Saudi Arabia on a charge of adultery. She said maids were not educated on the laws of the countries where they are employed.
Kumarasinghe is having her own court battle after being accused of ignorance of the constitution and illegally becoming a member of parliament. (COLOMBO, Nov 24 2015)