I will teach you how to topple governments- President Rajapaksa

I will teach you how to topple governments- President Rajapaksa

Written by Staff Writer

08 Apr, 2014 | 9:35 pm

The 2013 Annual Report of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka was unveiled on Tuesday.

Section 35 of the Monetary Law Act, requires the Monetary Board of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka to submit a report giving details of the state of the economy, the condition of the Central Bank and the policies and measures adopted by the Monetary Board during the year, to the Minister of Finance within four months of the commencement of the following year.

As such, the 64th Annual Report of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka was presented by the Governor of the Central Bank to Minister of Finance, President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday.

The report notes that the Sri Lankan economy rebounded, recording 7.3 percent growth in 2013, while the main sectors of agriculture, industry and services, grew by 4.7 percent, 9.9 percent and 6.4 percent respectively.

Following are the views expressed at the event.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa:

“An opinion that persists in the country is that come March, the government will collapse. This is a question that is usually posed to me. I have been asked this question for over 10 years but I see no such collapse. Today, while we have risen from 6 to 7 percent, it is still insufficient for us. This is not enough and we must rise further. Everyone’s support is required for us to do this. Today, we have risen to a position where the coconut branch shack of the ordinary man has become an exhibit in museums constructed in luxury hotels. But I am afraid… ”

He added: “I fear as to whether the gap between the haves and the have-nots will widen. If this gap is allowed to widen further, I believe that we must exercise vigilance. Some people say that the Arab Spring is drawing close. I do not know of any spring. Some are calling on the people to take to the streets citing the Arab Spring. I am a man that took to the streets and then came to this position. Therefore, I do not feel it as much. Nevertheless, if a government is not good, then it must be toppled and the people will see to it. But we cannot allow for a government to be forced out. You do not need to go to Harvard and other places and learn how to topple governments, if you come to Medamulana, I will teach you. ”

Elaborating on economic progress in 2013, the Governor of the Central Bank, Ajith Nivard Cabraal noted that the Central bank’s policies of maintaining low interest rates and low inflation rates had ensured economic stability.

Governor of Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Ajith Nivard Cabraal,

“Your Excellency the President, over the past five years, inflation has been maintained at single figures. Inflation at present has reduced to about 4.5 percent. We have been able to maintain a growth rate of about 7.5 percent over the past four years. Although per capita income was 1241 dollars in 2005, at present it has increased to 3280 dollars. Unemployment has been reduced to 4.4 percent. Imports and exports have increased. This shows that our country’s economy has grown. Gross reserves have now increased to 7.5 billion US dollars.”

Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Planning, Dr. P.B. Jayasundera,

“Some people raise questions about the factual nature of this information. But none of this information is from the Central Bank. Apart from the balance sheets of the Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance, all other information is provided by other people. When considering this information you will see that in the case of banks, both private and state, information is submitted following an audit of the banks. ”

He noted: “That is what the Central Bank presents. The Department of Census and Statistics is not a department of the Central Bank. It is this department that measures national production under various international standards and then submits the information here. Thereby, interpreting these statistics in a manner that underestimates the progress of the country is not a suitable sign for the future of the country. What we should do here is to to look at the shortcomings, in a positive light.”

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