By Saman Indrajith
Most opposition political parties yesterday vowed to defeat the government’s proposed debt restructuring plan when Parliament convenes today at 9.30 a.m.Secretary General of the Parliament, Kushani Rohanadeera said she informed all Members about the meeting, according to the instructions of Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena. The Speaker has also issued a Gazette Extraordinary on 27 June announcing the meeting, in accordance with the Standing Orders No. 16 of the House, she said.
Opposition leader, Sajith Premadasa said that the government’s agreement with the IMF was a bad one and that President Ranil Wickremesinghe had demonstrated that he did not have the required acumen to deal with international organisations.
“The government has lied about the domestic debt restructuring from the beginning. Initially, it said there would be no such thing. Then, it said the pension funds would not be adversely affected. How can we have any trust in the government’s domestic debt restructuring proposals?”
SJB MP Nalin Bandara said his party had decided to vote against the government’s proposal because it did not agree with the manner in which the government handled negotiations with the IMF.
“We don’t agree with the proposals for domestic debt restructuring. We will join hands with other parties to defeat it,” he said.
Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP Shanakiyan Rasamanickam also accused the domestic debt restructuring as a plot to misuse EPF and ETF pension funds. 2.5 million private sector workers depended on those pension funds, he said.
“One third of the real value of pension funds has been lost due to inflation. Now, debt restructuring will affect the pension funds more. All 225 MPs must take the side of the people in Parliament today,” he said.
Meanwhile, TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran told journalists on Thursday night that the party was not happy with the domestic debt restructuring proposals as they would have a detrimental impact on the EPF and ETF.
“The government said it won’t touch these pension funds. It has lied to us. We can’t support such a proposal,” he said.The JVP has also said it would vote against the government’s plan.