“But that is not enough. We have to have an attitudinal change and if we do that, then this country will have a future,” said the president, speaking at the 2022 award ceremony of the “Organisation of Professional Associations of Sri Lanka which was presided over by him.
“Just after I became the Minister of Finance, I found that I was richer than the Republic of Sri Lanka as far as the foreign exchange was concerned. I had thousand dollars at home which I had saved, so I was thousand times richer than the Republic.”
President Wickremesinghe also stated that discussions are underway with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to finalize a staff-level agreement, while there are two groups that prevail now, the West which is planning to provide a haircut and China which would like to give additional loans to pay off existing loans.
“We are talking with Japan about how this could be achieved. If we move fast, this will be a short way and if we still keep arguing, then we all are going to suffer.”
President Wickremesinghe further pointed out that they are trying to make the parliament into a government by having oversight committees and a national council. The oversight committees will not only consist of the members of the parliament but also 05 youth representatives who are allowed to question parties with the permission of the chairman, he added.
He also acknowledged that no other country in the world has allowed young people to take part in oversight committees.
In this parliament, we must have the capability of coming up with a new system. “We cannot be passing it to others. The baby is ours. We’ve taken it, we’ve got to carry it. And if possible, from there, [we should] go ahead to a new constitution.
“We are also looking at the Diaspora. It is a strength; it is also a source of investment,” he said further, noting that the country needs to sort out the issues among ethnic groups.
The President also mentioned that the government has paid attention to establishing a separate office to deal with the Diaspora in order to obtain its support. – ada derana