He was speaking at the HE FORUM held on January 17 at Hotel Hilton, also attended by president Sirisena, and moderated by a panel also comprising Prof. Sirimal Abeyratne, Dr. Dayan Jayatilake and Dr. Suren Raghavan.
Samarajiva said the previous regime’s biggest slogan of ‘unplugging the country from foreign countries’ had influenced the public mindset, although there had been immense international pressure over debt burden, decline in foreign aid and in national production.
In the past two years, the president and the PM attempted to save this small country from that outside pressure by a massive global economy, he said.
Public should portray politicians’ interchanges
Speaking further, he said that as a democracy, the country should have a representation of the people’s views and they should portray the interchanges of their elected representatives.
Samarajiva went onto say that Sri Lankans still saw foreign trips by political leaders as a luxury, but that taking Narendra Modi as an example, he said the Indian PM almost lives in an airplane, in order to establish the global position of his country.
Referring to the 2015 presidential polls, he said it had been an election where powers of the state were completely abused, and that he found it a crucial decision by the voters to vote for the other side.
Comparing the then regime to that of an upcountry aristocratic rule, Samarajiva said the TRC, of which he was the chairman at the time, had spent around Rs. 800 million of its money to bribe the public with ‘Sil clothing’.
President is helpless due to his allies – Dayan Jayatilake