Opposition leader blames govt. MPs for lavish cruise party amidst economic crisis



By saman indrajith

Opposition and SJB Leader Sajith Premadasa and Chief Government Whip Housing Minister Prasanna Ranatunga had a heated argument yesterday with the former revealing that 50 government MPs had had a cruise party while children were fainting in schools due to hunger.

Premadasa said that while people were starving and undergoing tremendous hardships, 50 MPs and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa had partied onboard two dredgers namely Hansakawa and Diya Kovula. The Ports Authority had borne cost of the party, he said. Arrangements had been made by Ports State Minister Premalal Jayasekera. “How could you waste public money in this manner?” Premadasa queried.

“I can provide pictures of the party,” he said.

Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said Premadasa was wasting Parliament time.

“We do not mind, even if you party 24 hours a day and 365 days a year with your own money. This is public money. This is a crime when the country is bankrupt, and children faint in their schools without food. This is a matter concerning the national economy,” Premadasa said.

Chief Government Whip Minister Ranatunga said that the Opposition leader should be more responsible when raising questions in parliament. Ranatunga said that it was the former President who helped Premadasa’s sister to get away when she was caught with counterfeit currency notes. That too affected the national economy. It was your father who gave weapons and money to the LTTE. If you stoop down to low levels, we too have things to say,” Ranatunga said.

Opposition Leader Premadasa: There is no need to ask anyone of how the funds were given to the LTTE. Ask your own Public Security Minister Tiran Alles how the money was given to the LTTE. Neither my sister nor any of my family members was caught with dud money. I am also ready to talk about you. I was speaking of how you people partied when the country was bankrupt.