Additional security requested for former prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe

Additional security requested for former prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe

Additional security requested for former prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe

Written by Staff Writer

20 Jan, 2020 | 9:54 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st) – Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said that he hopes that the Chief Justice will take action on the statements made about the judiciary in the controversial leaked phone conversations without causing any issues between the legislature and the judiciary.

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa met heads of media institutions at Temple Trees this morning.

Mahinda Rajapaksa stated that the Chief Justice should take swift action against the telephone conversation leak and added that he is concerned whether those offices were compromised as well.

Mahindananda Aluthgamage confirmed the Prime Minister’s statement and stated that the Chief Justice should be involved in the matter as they, the legislature could not be involved in the matter.

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa went on to note that the faith in the judiciary has to be restored in order to move forward as the country.

Responding to questions raised by a journalist the Prime Minister said that the cost of living will reduce in the future as a result of the concessions given by the government.

Mahinda Rajapaksa shared that the income has been increased as a result of the concession that was given and the reduction in VAT.

Prime Minister added that they expect to develop the country with the assistance of the private sector.

Minister Bandula Gunawardena stated that people have been investing in new business ventures lately while new factories are being constructed. He added that the minister instructed the banks to provide loans up to Rs 300mn at a concessionary rate of 10% for those who have paid their loans.

He further added that those who have engaged in businesses bring new hope to 2020. He shared that taxes and interest rates have been reduced and expect to encourage the private sector to increase its production.

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa at the meeting today said that the previous regime had approved the MCC agreement in the cabinet and had also entered into certain verbal agreements.

He said that the government hopes to reach a decision on the agreement after reviewing the agreement through the committee headed by Dr Lalithasiri Gunaruwan.

Mahinda Rajapaksa noted that they would review the agreement.

The journalist questioned the Prime Minister regarding the forensic audit of the Central Bank Bond issue not being made public.

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa stated that the audit has already been handed over to the Speaker and a legal issue has stopped it from being presented at the parliament. He added that the Attorney General had asked for certain sections not to be presented.

Mahindananda Aluthgamage stated that the COPE committee will be appointed in the parliament and the audit can be presented on the first day that COPE convenes.

Mahinda Rajapaksa added that the extradition of the former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran is underway and they have not stopped anything in the process.

The Prime Minister responded to a question raised on the additional security that has been provided to the former Prime Minister.

Mahinda Rajapaksa responded that Ranil Wickremesinghe, as the former prime minister had sent a request to them through his secretary to provide him with additional security.

Prime Minister shared that a former prime minister is entitled for a security detail of 200, and minister Keheliya Rambukkella added that it is based on the assessment of the threat.
— That is decided based on the threat assessment. But given the current situation, we will have to get a threat assessment.

Journalist: We can see that the government is attempting to amend the constitution. We would like to know what areas will be amended?

Mahinda Rajapaksa responded that they would discuss this matter after a new government comes into power.

Meanwhile, Minister Bandula Gunawardena said that with the escalating tensions between the US and Iran, global oil prices have begun to rise.

Minister Bandula Gunawardena:

“We are not a country that produces oil. So when the global oil prices are increased the general public will have to bear the burden.

Global oil prices are not something that we can control. The issue with oil prices is that it changes with global oil prices.

That is why the IOC changes the prices to the existing price. The government is providing fuel at a concessionary rate.

We will have to look into how much concessions the government can give.

On one hand with the reduction in VAT and other taxes and if we reduce the taxes we get from fuel as well, we will have to face serious issues when it comes to the payment of salaries and management of state finances.”


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