Ravi Karunanayake, the UNP’s Colombo district leader, has urged all to set aside petty politics and unite to resolve the county’s serious economic crisis.
Also a former finance minister, Karunanayake made the call while speaking to the media today (11).
As pointed out by president Ranil Wickremesinghe at the inauguration of the fifth session of ninth parliament, neither the SJB nor the JVP has a single justifiable reason to dodge the nation-building programme, he said.
The country has gained some economic progress comparatively, but the danger is still there, said Karunanayake, adding that this was not time for experimentations, since a single correct decision could fall the country back to a worse situation than in 2022.
He noted that the president alone cannot resolve this crisis and that every time the country was down economically, it was the UNP that showed the correct path by updating the economic policy to suit global trends amid all the disruptions and accusations.
Soon after a government was formed in 2015, steps were taken to raise state revenue to meet crucial expenditure for development, relief and loan repayments.
As it happened in 2020, collapse of the economy started at the first instance of a weakened state revenue.
The president is now prioritizing state revenue improvement and making vital reforms in order to revive the economy, he said.
Karunanayake said those who speak about a system change suffer from a reform-phobia and use it as a petty political slogan.
How can the system be changed without reforms? he asked.
Karunanayake said the SJB comprises a group that broke away from the UNP by taking either a correct or incorrect decision.
They were nurtured by UNP politics and their ideology remains the same, he said, and asked as to what prevents them from supporting the nation-building programme.
By overcoming whatever hurdle that is there, they could be partners to making a developed country, he said.
The JVP, the UNP senior leader said, was having ideals similar to those of his own party in most cases.
After having strong anti-India sentiments in the past and claiming an Indian expansionism, their leaders now undertook an official visit to that country.
Karunanayake said the Rajapaksas, their main rivals, are now lending support to the president as the SLPP to run the government.
No one should hesitate to act correctly, without getting cursed for adopting old political strategies, he added.
Karunanayake’s advice for the people was to refrain from experiments to endanger the children’s future and to take decisions in a responsible manner in support of correct policies, without being misled by mere words.