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UNP says CHOGM a failure

2013 Nov 21

The main opposition United National Party (UNP) feels the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) held in Sri Lanka was a failure and will only add to the burdens of the public.

UNP MP and chairman of the UNP leadership council, Karu Jayasuriya, says many Sri Lankans are unaware of the heavy price that they have to incur in the coming weeks and months for the enormous cost borne for the Commonwealth summit.

He says the Government has purposefully left everyone in the dark regarding the exuberant expenditure for the event though the opposition has repeatedly asked for accounts.

“What was the cost of all those vehicles that were imported and the numerous contracts given to decorate the city? Were tenders called for this purpose? On what criteria were the importers and service providers selected? These are but normal questions that a responsible Government claiming to adhere to the Commonwealth values of good governance and transparency should be most willing to answer. Not so in Sri Lanka,” he said.

He also said that making President Mahinda Rajapaksa the Chair- in-Office of the Commonwealth endorses the beginning of yet another phase of autocracy.

Jayasuriya says despite a pernicious campaign by powerful elements within the Government, the United National Party pledges to continue its efforts countrywide to expose insidious attempts by a corrupt regime to foist an autocracy.

“Fundamental freedoms – rule of law, freedom of expression, the right for a citizen to have his own views and not necessarily that of the Government – are among those fast eroding. The time has come for every citizen to contribute their might to reverse this situation. The UNP will stand steadfastly by them,” he said. (Colombo Gazette)



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