Sirisena responds to Aluthgamage’s criticism in Parliament, reminds the ‘truth’ behind two-thirds power

Sirisena responds to Aluthgamage’s criticism in Parliament, reminds the ‘truth’ behind two-thirds power

25 November 2021 01:12 pm

Former President MP Maithripala Sirisena speaking to Parliament today (25) responded to the recent criticism levelled by Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage in a tone that is, by observation, rather stern.

“I too have the right, Mr. Speaker, to respond if I am targeted in a speech as the former President. We do not retaliate if we are to being beaten. If we are beaten, we will pity them. We are not the type of people who tend to fight. If we are to strike back, this is not the way we do it. The annual budget on my account and the budget of the current President are being shown accusing me of unnecessary expenditure. Showing certain budgets, they claimed that they belonged to my tenure. I too do not like, Honourable Speaker, to sit inside glass houses and attack. Because I have set an example of how former presidents spent, how they travelled and how they used vehicles – the planes and helicopters, since I came in 2015.

If you wish to strike – like you earlier suggested – it may be a question as to what type of injuries you may sustain,” Sirisena said.

The SLFP Chief added: “Since 1947, governments of this country lost allegiance of other parties – the ones they sought to come to power for – on the way. Lady Bandaranaike’s government in 64’. Lady Bandaranaike’s government in 75’. The five-sixths government of Mr. J.R. Jayawardena, which sought an extension by holding a referendum, lost allies like Lalith, Gamini and still suffer the consequences as the UNP. During Lady Chandrika, another group left. In 2014 I left the government for justifiable reasons and contested as the Common Candidate. That government was defeated. Therefore, administering a government and the two-thirds power should be thought of more deeply, complexly and intelligently. They should be thought of more pluralistically. The two-thirds power of the government is in the hands of the 14 MPs of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party. Therefore, the cost of striking against each other has been well proven by the previous governments for the last 50 – 60 years.

The government today is also a coalition government. It consists of the Podujana Peramuna and eleven other allied parties. History speaks of evidence on what happens when coalition government fights against each other. So, we too can speak very fast. We cannot fight. We are very innocent people. Minister Mahindananda had spoken to our Parliament team member Minister Duminda Dissanayake. Minister Duminda Dissanayake told me in the evening, that he asked Minister Mahindananda what is the purpose of using these vehicles. Minister Mahindananda responded that they should be ‘telling something’ to keep their ‘Boss’ up. There is no problem of keeping your ‘Boss’ up, but do not strike at us. There are plenty of ways which you can keep your ‘Boss’ up without striking at us, are they not? We too are in this government with that ‘Boss’, are we not? Therefore, may you behave more politely and have discipline without creating problems in the Ruling Party. May we keep our friendship. We need not going down. Mahindananda is a Minister, I am a former President, Mr. Dayasiri Jayasekara is a former Chief Minister. Therefore, may we work to suit our standards.”

The SLFP Chief also accused the government of being so disliked by the people due to the conduct of Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage.