‘Save national assets from very same politicians who came to power promising to protect them’ By Sirimantha Ratnasekera

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It was so unfortunate that people had to take to the street to save the national assets from the very same politicians who came to power promising to protect them, Convener  of the National Movement to protect state assets Ven, Ulapane Sumangala Thera said yesterday.

 Addressing the media at the Dharmayathanaya in Narahenpita, Ven Sumangala said that during the Yahapalana regime there had been many patriotic forces including leading bhikkhus, protesting against the sale of national assets to foreign companies. “We call on the very same forces to come out again because the threat persists. The incumbent government is selling off national assets to foreign companies.”

“President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour pledged that national assets would not be sold off by a government under his presidency. But now that promise has been reneged on. The incumbent Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, while campaigning for the general election, vowed that under an SLPP government action would be taken to acquire all national assets that had been sold off by the yahapalana regime. Now, that promise has also been broken.

“The East Container Terminal of the Colombo Port is being sold to an Indian company by the name of Adani. This sale is taking place in the guise of promoting investments. Ports employees staged an protest campaign prior to the general election. PM Rajapaksa summoned the union leaders to Medamulana and promised them that the terminal would not be sold if an SLPP government was formed.”

The Thera said that the SLPP after forming the government had said that it was the Sinhala Buddhists who had voted for it. “Such a government should have upheld Buddhist values, but instead it has turned the country into the butchery of Asia. A meat processing factory is being set up in the Katunayake free trade zone to supply 10 percent of meat in the world market. Prisoners are massacred inside jails. Government leaders and ministers who were sworn in near the Ruwanweliseya and the Dalada Maligawa have no regard for the tenets of Buddhism. One of the ministers has visited Ruwanweliseya under the influence of liquor. This shows their true nature and people should realise that their patriotism is only a façade.”

The Thera said that a foreign bhikku had died here recently and his death was suspicious. “It is sad that none of the bhikkhus come forward asking for an investigation into that death. Many bhikkhus who give voice cuts calling for the release of VIP prisoners are silent when there is a danger to the sasana.”

 Lawyers Maithri Gunaratne, PC and Gunaratne Wanninayake also addressed the media.


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