I resign with pride

Published : 9:20 am  August 11, 2017 | No comments so far |  |  (371) reads | 

‘Won’t allow Rajapaksas to destroy President, PM’s efforts 

Says decision was to set a good example 

 

LATE-CITY-DM-1-4By Yohan Perera

Making a special statement in Parliament, Foreign Affairs Minister Ravi Karunanayake yesterday resigned from his portfolio and said the decision was not made with regret but with pride.  

The former minister announced his resignation after reports started coming in that he was under pressure both from the government and the opposition to step down after the disclosure of his family’s involvement in a transaction with Perpetual Treasuries which accused of a scam involving Central Bank Bonds.  


In his statement, the former minister said he won’t allow the Rajapaksas to destroy the efforts of President and the Prime Minister.  “Therefore I have decided to set a good example and resign from my post.  History and time will decide my fate.  Several UNPers were subjected to allegations but they were proved wrong. I will safeguard the truth and be honest and will work for the country. I did not make my decision to resign with regret but with pride. I sacrifice my position to safeguard the dignity of this House, for the sake of those who love my party,  my voters,  for the country. My family is subjected to character assassination. They helped me much. I love them,” he said.   


   “ Allegations have been made against me during the past few days.  Much has been written about me in the media. MPs came up with statements about me in the House.  A no confidence motion has been brought against me.  There was an issue about an apartment where I was living in.  Therefore I went before the presidential commission.  My family had to shift as my residence in Battaramulla was under renovation.  I was not given an official residence.  We had to look for a house.  My family informed me that there was a house which was owned by Nahil Wijesuriya. We decided to reside in it. Nahil Wijesuriya’s daughter is my daughter’s class mate. However Miss Wijesuriya was not prepared to lease the house to a politician.My daughter and Mr Wijesuriya’s child requested that the house should be leased to Perpetual Treasuries. Ultimately the house was leased to my daughter and she made the due payments.  Later it was sold to a company owned by my family.  A loan was raised for it from Seylan Bank.  I have nothing to hide. I am prepared to produce all documents pertaining to this deal for the reference of any commission,”  he said.  

Allegations have been made against me during the past few days. Much has been written about me in media. 

 

   “ I came into politics with the influence of late Lalith Athulatmudali against whom various allegations were made. Later these allegations were proved wrong. I was a successful businessman during the time I came into politics. I have never earned anything by coming in for politics. I don’t have any intention of getting a house through illegal means. Many MPs have visited my house in Battaramulla. MPs of both sides have visited me some have come into my house for political discussions and others for parties.  All those who have visited me are aware of my wealth. They know that I have not engaged in illegal deeds. I have not used politics for my business. Even those who signed the no confidence motion against me are aware that I have not earned through politics,” he also said.  
“Neither a minister or his supporters were taken before a commission in the past.Some ministers were obsessed with power. We can recall how Prime Ministers and president behaved. Some presidents behaved like kings. We don’t believe like them . We respect the law, we showed that there is a new political culture by testifying before the presidential commission.  


The commission was appointed to look into the bond issue but a public debate is on on a leasing of a house by a private company. There were involvement of judges in the questioning done by the additional solicitor general.They advised him on the way he questioned me. I trust that the commission would find the truth. I don’t intend to state about weaknesses of additional solicitor general now. It will be revealed why he was arrogant before long. His behavior could be game to get a promotion. There is freedom for the Attorney General’s department even to question a Minister. Attorney General’s department did not have the freedom even to open a file regarding a minister. The department managed to examine 8000pages of data within 48 hours. This is commendable. It is a positive sign.The department should show equal efficiency in looking at the country’s borrowings. This efficiency should also be shown in the investigation of Currupt activities of those in the previous regime.Expedite action on 84 files which had been handed over to the Attorney General’s department by the FCID” he added.  


“ I have done hard work for the UNP for more than 32 years. Faced chalking times .I sacrificed my personal matters for the sake of the party. I had to face death threats. Cases were filed against me. A money laundering case was filed against me but I was acquitted. Indrajith Koomarasamy who worked under Raj Rajaratnam who was also a party of that case is the current governor of Central Bank. I am saying this to make people understand that I was harrased even when I was in the opposition. I was subjected to political victimization then and is subjected to character assassination now.  Someone sent human skulls to my old mother. My family was subjected various harassment. I served UNP despite all these.I worked towards avoiding the division of the party and to defeat the conspiracy against the party leader. I protected the party and the leader. I will do so in the future as well. I put my country and the party first. We were of the opinion that all progressive forces should come together to change the regime. We decided to field a common candidate. I am the one who gave president Maithripala Sirisena the opportunity to contest under the symbol swan at the last presidential election. I did all this for the sake of this country.I used my ministerial post to work for the people and to work for the country. All members in this House are aware that my phone is open 24 hours. Positions are not permanent. What would remain is the work we do for the people. Some people does not understand this reality as they think positions would last for ever. They thing power would last forever. They will do anything to capture no matter what happens to the country.  We laboured to launch the revolution of January 2008. Allegations against me are baseless. However some forces including the media had already made me a criminal.Media had behaved in a way they have not behaved during the entire history.  They say I should be crucified. Jesus and Buddha both faced disasters. Anyone faces challenges according to atalo dahama preached by Buddha. I have the ability to face challenge. There is a conspiracy to destabilize the government. There is a move to sabotage the democratic process created by the President and the Prime Minister.Criminals and real thieves are behind this act.They try to capture power to escape punishment which awaits them. I will not allow this conspirators to destroy UNP. I will not allow them to topple the Yahapalana government.