Criticism on President unfair - Minister

Investment Promotion State Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene emphasised that President Maithripala Sirisena had done much to rid the country of corruption and that undue-criticism levelled against him is uncalled for.

“Many of these politicians who are out criticizing him, also know that matters like the Bond Commission and the committee to investigate Mihin and SriLankan Airlines weren’t initiated by any political party but out of his will and desire to create a future free from corruption,” he said. “That said, if there are members of the SLFP who also feel this way, I ask them to stand up and voice their concerns now.”

The Minister mentioned the issue over the gazette notification rescinding an amendment which allowed women to purchase and work at liquor stores, stating that the President had every right to revoke an amendment which goes against the country’s culture and societal norms. “He doesn’t deserve to be criticised for that. He was acting in his capacity as President to revoke an amendment which he felt was wrong,” Abeywardene said.

When asked if the President could legally and rightfully rescind an amendment, he stated that while the President voiced his opinion, the Finance Ministry has now repealed the law.The State Minister reiterated that the criticisms against the President were on petty issues when the good that has been brought on by this government has been largely forgotten.

“The media enjoys the freedom to report as they wish, commissions have been appointed to bring corrupt individuals to book, other sweeping measures are being taken. All of this has been forgotten,”the Minister said.

Referring to the upcoming Local Government Elections, Abeywarnene said the SLFP is contesting for 343 LG bodies and has teamed up many political parties based on the electorates. “We are certain of an SLFP victory,” he said. Referring to the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) which is contesting under the Pohottuwa (Flower Bud) symbol, he said that this upcoming election was also the end of the political road for them. “There’s only so far that they can carry this political campaign forward. This is easily their last straw,” he added.

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