September 24, 2020
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    National Security is vital for economic development - Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekara

    September 11, 2020

    State Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Government Rear Admiral (Rtd) Sarath Weerasekara adamantly stated in parliament yesterday that as long as there are MPs who promote separatism, the lands surrounding the Palali Air Strip would not be released as national security is a vital aspect of the country’s economy.

    Weerasekara in response to the speech made in parliament on Wednesday by MP Wijneswaran said that the latter works towards a separatist agenda and never fails to speak in  contempt of the Sinhalese and Buddhist monks. “He is believing in the Gobel’s Theory where a lie spoken repeatedly is eventually taken for being the truth. That is why he keeps  repeating these lies in this august assembly.”

    He said that despite Wigneswaran’s claims that the military still occupies vast lands belonging to the Tamils, the government had returned over 90% of the lands occupied by the  military. However, he said that what Wigneswaran is asking for is the land on the landing path in Palali. But, he said that these are grounds of tactical importance and especially as  long as such MP’s promote separatism these lands will never be returned as they are a significant component of national security, which also has great significance in the country’s  economy.

    Meanwhile, joining the debate on the 06 notifications under the Ports and Airport Development Levy Act, 03 regulations and 06 resolutions under the Customs Ordinance  presented to the House he said, Because of steps taken to lower the bank interest paid in respect of special deposits to a level of 4% the facilitation of the flow of funds into the  hands of entrepreneurs became easy. This step taken by the Central Bank is a positive contribution to the prevention of the downfall of the economy at a time when we are facing a  precarious situation.

    “I do not wish to treat or consider the Central Bank report as a post mortem but I consider it as a blood report or a medical report whereas to use the indications in such a report  for correcting the deficiencies shown and as a basis of considering remedial measures that we should take.”

    However, he added that he did not wish to underestimate the role the banking industry has to play in the development activities of the country. “Not only the state sector banks but  even the private sector domestic banks have to play a significant role in this area. I see the organisation of the banking sector towards the objective being the backbone of the  economy and a vital formation in a battlefront. The banking sector has to play a role going beyond the role of supplying financial assistance to other areas such as monitoring and  controlling of the activities of the entrepreneurs in a responsible manner. This responsibility falls on the banking sector throughout the world. In this regard the Central Bank has to  play an important role as a bank of bankers and the main responsibility falls within the banks supervision of the Central Bank,” he said, adding that the Central Bank cannot permit  the deterioration of standards or any irregularities to take place in the banking sector.

    “Although the regulations are strong the effectiveness depends on the manner in which the supervision and control takes place. If there is any laxity on the part of the Central Bank  it can lead to a complete breakdown of the banking industry and thereby reverse the development process of the country. During the recent past we observed that there were  reports of many instances of irregularities and unhealthy operations of the banks,” he said adding that as much as those responsible for these irregularities need to be punished,  these irregularities also needs to be rectified


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