A special discussion between Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) and Opposition Leader, Sajith Premadasa, and former President and Chairman of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), Maithripala Sirisena, was held yesterday (4) at the Opposition Leader’s office in Colombo.
The main focus of the discussion was the proposed constitutional reforms, and several other matters were also slated be discussed.
Speaking to media after the discussion with the former President, Premadasa said the liquidity of the local banking system must be secured, if the economy is to be safeguarded.
“The issue was a matter of dollars and cents in the short run. The country must secure USD 10-12 million, which will act as a boost to the local economy and provide the public some relief. Despite an all-party Government coming into power, politicians cannot secure the public’s right to life if they lack sufficient funds to operate the economy,” added Premadasa.
Also speaking to media, former President Sirisena said he sent a letter to the Russian President pertaining to the recent grounding of an Aeroflot flight in Sri Lanka.
“Sri Lanka had good ties with Russia in the past from the purchase of MiG aircraft and weapons during the conflict to bilateral trade ties,” he said adding that he is due to visit Russia in the near future, and that the matter will be discussed and settled then.
He also said under such circumstances it is evident that Sri Lanka doesn’t have a clear foreign policy.
In the meantime, Sirisena did not forget to mention the Aragalaya (Public Protest).
“The protest mottos contain ideas such as that the public want to get rid of all the politicians who were involved in this country’s administration for 74 years. But, we should emphasise that, it is when the executive presidency was implemented in 1978 that the country’s political administration was comparatively facing many issues such as the start of the war and being unable to follow a neutral foreign policy internationally,” he added.
Also, Premadasa said that in the past three years, the rulers of this country have acted without listening to what other people say, thinking that they are the only ones who are right and today the country is in an abyss.
“The country can be built through a social reform that listens to everyone’s opinions without dictatorship and for that I will listen to the proposals and ideas of the progressive parties and ultimately the aim of the Opposition is to rebuild the country through a common national agenda that can bring together the diverse ideas,” he added.
SJB General Secretary Ranjith Maddumabandara, MPs Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, Mano Ganesan, Rauff Hakeem, C. Wigneswaran, P. Digambaram, several political figures, and a large number of civil activists including Victor Ivan, K.W. Janaranjana, and Rohan Samarajeeva also participated in the meeting.
By Nabiya Vaffoor