State Ministers refuse privileges | Daily News

State Ministers refuse privileges

The State Ministers who were sworn in yesterday (8), said that they do not require privileges to support the programme carried out by President Ranil Wickremesinghe in his efforts to build the country.

They pointed out that establishing economic stability in the country is the priority at the moment and as State Ministers, they hope to provide maximum support to the line ministries by taking on the responsibilities of the government.

Expressing his views, State Minister of Mass Media Shantha Bandara said, “At this point, the hope of the President and the Prime Minister is to build the country. We all have a responsibility to build the country that has fallen economically. The ministry should fulfill the responsibility that has been entrusted properly, regardless of the portfolio.

Someone may think that they will have to bear a lot of expenses through this. Therefore, we also need to do compromise. We have clearly told the President that we will not take the Minister’s salary but only the MP’s salary and carry out our duties. This is a duty that we have to do for the country. The President acted in accordance with the Constitution. It should be specially mentioned that no activity has been done in violation of the constitution.

A strong government is required to attract investors and get loan assistance. It needs political stability. We need a Cabinet, a group of MPs including state ministers. The strength of the government depends on that. Due to this decision, there is some positive response from the IMF. While everyone is working with dedication towards a specific goal, we must extend our praise to the President as he deserves it.

State Minister for Primary Industries Chamara Sampath Dasanayake:We worked in the past with or without privileges. There is no need to make this state ministry an ornament. We worked back then and we are working even now. Therefore, I did not accept this ministry to get privileges, to run after vehicles and fuel. I took over the rural ministry to serve the people. This is a ministry where I can work with the people in the village. I hope to provide maximum service to the people through this new position.

Minister of State for Foreign Employment Promotion Jagath Pushpakumara: The country was in a political crisis during the recent past. No one wanted to take over this country at that time. The current President Ranil Wickremesinghe accepted the post of Prime Minister. Later he accepted the presidency. We gave him our support through Parliament. Ministers of State were appointed to assist the President. Now we have got the opportunity to work under him. I accepted this post in order to strengthen the hands of the President. We cannot hoodwink the country any further by being divided.

It is pointless for those who are sent to work being divided and forming alliances. Alliances are necessary only in elections. We have continuously said that we need to strengthen the parliament. It doesn’t matter whether the ministry is big or small. We should accept what is entrusted to us and work. I will execute the responsibility given to me with transparency.

State Minister for Urban Development and Housing Arundika Fernando: According to the President’s decision, several state ministers took this oath after several rounds of negotiations.We made him president.He assumed the presidency with our blessings. We should support him unconditionally. As ministers of state, we have taken decisions to get only the MP’s salary without getting any special privileges. This will be a relief for the country. Not just a few, but all of us have taken a collective decision not to accept privileges. We unconditionally support the President’s efforts to save the country from its dire predicament. We don’t want to take privileges and rebel. We believe that the other MPs will also support us.

Ashoka Priyantha, Minister of State for Home Affairs: At this moment, the time has come to unite as a country. Back then, as the Ministry of Home Affairs, it was necessary to strengthen the state machinery and build the country by gathering all the district offices and regional offices of the country. I am still working as an MP. I have not taken decisions based on privileges. The country can serve the people only if the President and the Prime Minister is empowered. The Ministry of Home Affairs will do its best to build the country.




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