‘Take over Premiership, revive economy’

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Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe challenged Jathika Jana Balawegaya (JJB) Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake to take over the Premier post and revive the country’s collapsed economy in six months, in Parliament yesterday (5).

The Premier put forward this challenge while President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was in the Chamber.

Wickremesinghe, while delivering a special statement on the economic situation and the progress of the discussions with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), said he is ready to step down and hand over the post to Dissanayake if the latter can present a road map to the President or Parliament as to how he is going to revive the economy in six months.

“Dissanayake has said he can revive the country’s economy in six months. I request him to present his plan to the President. If he does not want to meet the President, he can present it to Parliament.

If his plan is better than ours, we will implement it. Such a plan would be brilliant enough to win the Nobel Prize in Economics,” Wickremesinghe said.

Dissanayake made a strong comeback, countering Wickremesinghe’s claims, and criticised the latter for the sarcastic tone used when challenging the JJB.

“The Premier had taken my statement out of context. Wickremesinghe is famous for taking others’ speeches out of context. I only said the country must be stabilised and that an election must be held after six months. A Cabinet must be appointed by us and used to stabilise the country in a short period of time. Thereafter, an election must be held in six months. If this can be done, I will definitely accept the Premiership. I said the same thing about two months ago. But you did not care. You (Wickremesinghe) accepted the Premiership after two days of my statement,” the JJB Leader stressed.

If that happens, we will provide solutions to the present fuel, gas, and medicine issues in the country within the next six months and after that an election must be held, he added.

Speaking further, Dissanayake said, “You (Wickremesinghe) can never relate to the sufferings of the people. He lives in his own bubble. You are insensitive. I know why you joke about my statement. You only want to create Media hype by making these worthless jokes. Throughout your life, you have engaged in politics by playing games, striking deals, and inciting people from every side. But you should remember deal politics do not last long. The country is in this situation because of deal politics like yours.”

By Methmalie Dissanayake