By Saman Indrajith

It is the government which bankrupted the country that should be removed instead of the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) Chairman Janaka Ratnayake, Chief Opposition Whip and Kandy District SJB MP Lakshman Kiriella told Parliament yesterday.

Participating in the debate on the Parliamentary motion to remove Ratnayake from his post as the Chairman of the PUCSL, Kiriella said: “This move to remove the PUCSL Chairman will send a signal which would be detrimental to Sri Lanka internationally. A government trying to interfere in the affairs of an independent commission shows the type of democracy being practised by the government. Now we have commissions that are independent for the name sake. When these commissions try to act independently for the benefit of the people, the government exerts its pressure on them. The commissions cannot survive if they do not toe the line with the government’s diktats.

“Soon we all will reap the outcome of these undemocratic acts. What happened to the judiciary? The courts gave an order to conduct the polls. Has the government conducted the elections? They harassed the judges who gave the decisions. The Elections Commission set dates for elections, but the government did not release funds for that purpose. All independent commissions have been tamed to follow the government’s whims and fancies. This government made these commissions dependent on a few rulers. Former Elections Commissioner PSM Charles was not to be seen for some time and the commission had a reason to delay the decision to conduct polls, citing her absence. Likewise all the commissions have been rendered inactive by this government,” Kiriella said.