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Government has safeguarded country’s image - Mangala

Finance and Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera speaking at an event organised to establish UNP Pradeshiya Balamandala in the Matara electorate yesterday.

Finance and Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera said that it was only this government that could safeguard the image of the country and protect Parliamentarians including Mahinda Rajapaksa from international allegations.

As a result of the measures taken by this government to build-up and maintain the image of the country, former President Rajapaksa is able to criticise the country internationally.

The Minister said so while participating in an event organised to establish UNP Pradeshiya Balamandala in the Matara electorate yesterday.

The event was held with the patronage of Education Minister and UNP General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam.

“We have to get ready for an election. We have to face a few elections next year. That is why 2019 is equally important as 2015. We have to work with great dedication this time too,” he added.

Minister Sanaraweera added that anyone can remember where the country was in December 2014. The country was just a stain of blood on the world map since it faced many allegations over human rights violations. “The international community had been ready to conduct a probe even without our support. Because of the measures taken by this government, international organisations have placed their trust in us. If not for those measures, Rajapaksa would be tried by international courts,” he said.

“During Rajapkasa regime, the country lost the GSP Plus benefit and there was a ban on fish exports. But this government could obtain not only the GSP Plus benefit but we manged to get the ban on fish exports lifted.

“This government was even able to set a record by exporting the largest ever fish consignment after the lifting of the European Union ban,” Minister Samaraweera said.

He added that the fuel price formula was introduced by the government aiming to ease burderns of the people. But, unfortunately fuel prices have been steadily increasing since 2015 in the world market. But,once there is a drop in fuel prices,the people will definitely be benefited.

“Rajapaksa, who did not carry out the court order to bring down the price of fuel,is talking about the fuel price formula now,” the Minister noted.

He added that it is needless to mention the activities of the Rajapaksa regime.

“We never sold state properties. It was Rajapaksa who sold those state properties. A part of port city had been sold to China. According to the agreement, China has ownership of not only the land but also of the air space. Besides, if there was a natural disaster and damage caused to the land, we would have to pay compensation to China,” Minister Samaraweera said.