ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has been brought under the dominance of a foreign nation and is in the process of becoming a Chinese colony, former president Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga said.
Speaking to the privately owned NewsFirst network at an event on May 22, Kumaratunga accused Sri Lanka’s government of rushing the controversial Colombo Port City Economic Commission Act through parliament.
“After enduring European colonialism for 450 years, our ancestors shed blood and sweat to secure our independence in 1948 and full independence (republican status) in 1972. All of that has been undermined and our country is now in the process of becoming a colony of China,” she said.
On May 20, 148 MPs of a 225-member assembly voted in favour of an amended law to set up a China-backed special economic zone which is expected to fast-track investments and be protected against currency deprecation.
Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court had earlier ruled that 26 provisions in the original draft bill were contrary to the constitution and that the bill would require a two third majority to be passed in its original form.
“The Supreme Court said this was wrong. The people are criticising it. At a time when no one can go out and speak, when people are dying by the horde [amid the government’s refusal to lock down the country until the last minute] this act was passed secretively in parliament,” said Kumaratunga.
Today (22) marks 49 years since the adoption of the republican constitution by the United Front government led by Kumaratunga’s late mother and former prime minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike.
“This is a dangerous situation. We remember Mrs Bandaranaike now more than ever,” she added.
Kumaratunga also criticised former president criticised the leadership of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), the party founded by her father and former prime minister S W R D Bandaranaike and is now headed by former president Maithripala Sirisena.
“The current leadership has betrayed the party, its principles and supporters. The party has been destroyed. What is left is something that’s hanging on the tail of the Pohottuwa (ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna) government,” she said.
“What happened on May 20 was the final betrayal in a series of betrayals by the SLFP, culminating in betraying the nation. They have no right to speak about the country or the party again,” she added.