The Opposition has called for strong ties with China and warned the Government against attempting to derail the relationship between both countries.
Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (MEP) leader Dinesh Gunawardena recalled a letter written to the United States by Singapore’s former Prime Minister, the late Lee Kuan Yew, where he had stated that it is better to have a good relationship with China than to try to preach to that country.Dinesh
Gunawardena noted that last November, China became the most powerful economy in the world, going ahead of the United States.
“America was the most powerful economy in the world. But that is now over. Now even America is getting loans from China,” Gunawardena, who has recently won support to be named as the new opposition leader, said.
Gunawardena said that in Sri Lanka, several members of the new Government are making irresponsible statements to the effect that the country does not need development assistance from China.
The Parliamentarian warned that such statements could have serious repercussions and also impact Sri Lanka’s exports to China.
“This is not a time to experiment with the country. As the opposition we want to tell this very clearly to the Government,” he said.
He also questioned the alleged statement made by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe that Indian fishermen will be shot if they cross into Sri Lankan waters.
Gunawardena said that when there is an agreement to resolve issues through negotiations, such damaging statements should not be made in public.
The MEP leader also urged the Government to keep its promise to the people by dissolving Parliament after the 100 Day Programme is completed and hold a Parliament election.
He noted that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has expressed interest to contest the polls and added that the opposition will resolve its internal issues and look to win the polls.