State Minister Dilum Amunugama has displayed the Government’s wanton disregard for life, said former UNP MP Eran Wickremaratne reacting angrily to remarks by the State Minister that going to the polling booth was the same as staying in a line to enter a supermarket.
Wickremaratne insisted that the Government must put people’s lives before politics.
Amunugama released a video recently accusing the opposition of trying to delay parliamentary polls. He said that if people could stay in the Sathosa lines, they could stay in line at the polling booths too.
Wickremaratne lambasted the Government for its failures to protect the security forces who were at the frontlines of Sri Lanka’s battle against the corona virus after 180 Sri Lanka Navy sailors tested positive for COVID 19.
“We are surviving today because these people are putting themselves at risk for us. “The medical staff, the security personnel – why didn’t the Government make them a priority?” He asked.
The former UNP MP also said it was ridiculous that whenever something went right, the Government took credit, but when things went wrong the people were blamed. This is the myth the Government is creating.
Wickremaratne posed a spate of questions for the Health Minister at his press briefing:
1) When the opposition requested for face masks from India as soon as the virus came to China, who said that there is no need yet? The people or the government?
2) Who said that those infected by corona virus cannot come into the country because the airport is equipped with machines? The people or government minister Dinesh Gunawardena?
3) Who instigated protests against quarantine centres at the beginning? The people or the Government ministers?
4) Despite the risk of Corona, who allowed those returning from India into the country without being quarantined? The people or the government?
5) When the health services were advising to lock down the country, who asked “are we crazy enough to lock down the country with just 28 patients?” The people or the government?
6) Who kept the airport open until the sons of minister returned to the country? The people or the government?
7) Who kept people in queues by lifting and imposing curfew irregularly and offering essential items at cheaper prices through Sathosa only? The people or the government?
8) Who prevented reducing the cost of living of people by not applying the fuel concession to all goods and services, and by giving it only for Salmon and Dhal? The people or the government?
9) Who used the Navy to test the infected while there are well trained units like the CBRN? and if they used the Navy, who allowed them to go to their homes without being tested correctly? The people or the government?
10) Who said “Corona will end on the 19th of April”? the people or the Health Minister of the government?
11) Who created an election mentality in people by not showing all the elections that were cancelled in other countries, but by showing the one election that was held through messy / gutter media, and by implying that the spread of Corona was low? The people or the government?
12) Who created the opinion in people’s minds that the country’s election is more important than Corona? The people or government ministers like Wimal Weerawansa?
13) While no country can give any statistics yet, who deceived the people of the country by producing fake survey reports saying Sri Lanka is rated 9th among the countries that controlled the spread of Corona? The people or the government?
14) Who opened the country for the 20th June General Elections in spite of concerns by health authorities? The people or the government?
15) Who is still making big, baseless statements even as the seriousness of this is increasing faster each day? The people or the government through messy / gutter media?
Now, is it by mistake that you’re saying that this is all people’s fault? Or is it because of the absolute truth that “when it works well, it’s because of the government, when it goes wrong it’s because of the people / the opposition…”? Wickremaratne charged.
The Government was always reacting late, he also accused. The country had only 500 ICU beds and the Government should have already worked to double or triple this capacity and build special quarantined facilities to treat patients.
He pledged the opposition would give the Government full support to achieve this preparedness as infection numbers surge. (by Chamika Madiwake)