He called on the government to formulate a stringent program to resolve the present economic crisis.
The former PM said according to projections, the country will face serious financial issues during the next two years.
Therefore, he urged the government and the Cabinet of Ministers to formulate a program and table it before Parliament and said Parliament will be able to debate on the matter and initiate an impactful programme.
Re-engage with IMF
The former Premier also urged the government to work with the International Monetary Fund to increase the country’s reserves and also to fulfill the debt commitments.
Mr. Wickremesinghe said seeking temporary swap agreements from countries and partner originations will not be sufficient in the long run.
He added that Parliament should also exercise its financial authority to steer the country out of the financial crisis.
If you do not agree to work with the IMF, you must inform the house of the alternative,” he told the government, adding that there is no use in speaking of the statistics without having an alternative.
Opposition will support
The UNP Leader said the opposition will also support the government to overcome the current economic crisis.
Commenting on the COVID-19 situation in the country, he said a committee without statutory powers should not be handling the COVID-19 crisis and requested the Cabinet to take the lead role to issue directives to relevant agencies.
The former PM also said the coronavirus situation has deteriorated in the county owing to the government’s failure to assert its authority and provide guidance to state officials.
Mr. Wickremesinghe also slammed the COVID-19 Task Force as a failure adding the Task Force cannot move forward.
“According to the constitution such a responsibility lies with the Cabinet of Ministers and Parliament,” he said while questioning why the Cabinet of Ministers is not empowered with dealing with the COVID-19 crisis.
He emphasised that the involvement of the military in civilian affairs cannot be condoned and it has not happened in any other nation.
The former Premier said they are witnessing a semi-militarization of the country which should concern all public representatives.
In his concluding remarks, Mr. Wickremesinghe said the government and the opposition should work together to overcome COVID-19 and the economic crisis.
He stressed on the importance of formulating a comprehensive programme to save the lives and livelihoods of all Sri Lankans.
The UNP leader also noted that instead of debating on past mistakes, the government and the entire Parliament should focus on taking steps to rid the country from the present health and economic crisis.
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