Mangala launches liberal democratic ‘True Patriots’
2 years ago
By Pamodi Waravita Former Minister of Finance Mangala Samaraweera held the inaugural discussion of the “True Patriots” movement yesterday (25) at the Freedom Hub in Colombo, where he stressed the importance of embracing liberal democratic values and maintaining a “radical” middle path. “Before 27 July, we must repay a billion dollars for a loan taken in 2011. In addition, around $ 1.3 billion in Sri Lankan Development Bonds will have to be paid in December this year. When I took over as finance minister in 2019, the foreign exchange reserves in the treasury, which stood at $ 7.6 billion, will fall to a record low of $ 1.6 billion after 27 July, the lowest level in the country’s history. Our national income has declined by about Rs. 600 billion, and the lowest revenue recorded in the last seven decades was recorded in 2020. The largest budget deficit since 1988 was recorded in 2020,” said Samaraweera. While blaming the country’s current “failed” state on Sinhala Buddhist majoritarian politics, fueled by a false sense of patriotism, Samaraweera said that the future he envisions is one in which everybody takes up their responsibility for the country, instead of adhering merely to party politics. Responding to a question by The Morning, Samaraweera said that former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe entering parliament is a “good move”. “We need his intelligence, intellect, and experience in parliament,” said Samaraweera. Samaraweera was joined by a number of civil society activists, independent politicians, professionals, and members representing the youth.