ECONOMYNEXT – There is an “internal” struggle in the government that those who helped bring President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s administration into power have waged against forces that are conspiring to destroy it from within, Minister Udaya Gammanpila said.
Speaking to reporters yesterday, Gammanipla said he and other government MPs are trying to protect the aspirations of the 6.9 million Sri Lankans who voted for this government.
“We know there are certain provisions in the 20th amendment to the constitution that go against the mandate. The 20th amendment wouldn’t have come out in the form that it did if the goal was to serve the mandate,” he said.
If serving and respecting the mandate was the goal, he said, the government wouldn’t have entertained thoughts of signing away the Colombo Port’s east terminal to India, and political leaders wouldn’t be making decisions that end up harassing officials who try to uphold the law.
“It is true that we’re engaged in a massive struggle within the government, but it is not an attempt to destroy the government but to protect it. Our goal is to safeguard the mandate and the trust the 6.9 million voters have placed in the government,” he said.
The faction of which Gammanpila is a part of is battling the Felix Dias Bandaranaikes of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) government, he said, responding to a question about a similar statement recently made by his colleague Minister Wimal Weerawansa. The latter had claimed that there are elements within the government who “operate” like Bandaranaike and former President J R Jayawardena and are against local production.
It is unclear what exactly Gammanpiila meant by the comparison.
“To protect this government, we must point out its flaws and help correct those flaws,” he said.
“In my life, it is my parents who have scolded me the most. Similarly, we scold the government to correct it, out of love for it. As those who spearheaded the political movement that brought this government to power, we have a responsibility to put it on the right track,” he added.
Noting that the government has a long way to go, Gammanpila said the government must have the people’s blessings to forge ahead.
“The 6.9 million voters had immense expectations from President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. He has proven that he’s a capable leader, not by word but by action. It is our duty to facilitate the right environment for him to carry out his mandate. It doesn’t matter to us who stands in the way, we will fight them,” he said. (Colombo/Apr05/2021)