The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) says it was ‘baffled’ by the decision of the SLFP faction of the UPFA to refrain from voting on the Second Reading of the Budget 2019 on Tuesday and admitted it puts a little strain on the efforts of both parties.
“That baffled us as to why they would take such a decision and that also puts a little bit of strain on this effort by both parties to get rid of this UNF government,” UPFA MP Tharaka Balasuriya said.
One must always keep in mind this juncture and that it is imperative to identify who the common enemy is, he told reporters in Colombo today (14).
The Kegalle District MP claimed that there is a certain group of MPs in the SLFP who believe that if they act as the “third force” or if they succeed in gaining enough powers to act as “kingmakers,” they will be able to remain in the Cabinet forever.
The need of the country right now is not for them to become kingmakers, but to send this government packing as soon as possible, he stressed.
The SLPP member further said that in spite of what some UNP MPs have been saying that they are going to defeat President’s expenditure head what has transpired is that they had to “eat humble pie” before their own leader.
Speaking on the financial situation that the country is facing at the moment, he said that yesterday the All Share Price Index depreciated by 7.6% and the S&P Index recorded a loss of 1.6%.
Balasuriya said that the financial situation will deteriorate more during the next 6-10 months, particularly considering that the high interest payments that Sri Lanka has to pay for the monies borrowed from international agencies.
He said that for a 10-year bond Sri Lanka has to pay 7.85% and for a 5-year bond the country has to pay 6.85%. He stated that this rate is higher than the other countries in the region. The parliamentarian stated that for the same period Thailand pays 2.5%, Vietnam 4.78% and Greece 3.84%.
“We feel that with the high interest cost we have to pay for our foreign loans this will put humongous strain on the economy and we feel that the economic situation will deteriorate and only we can stop this deterioration if fresh elections are held and a new government is put in place,” he said.