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* Sri Lanka Marxist party legislator calls on government for a dialogue on alleged distortion of economy data
Fri, Jan 31, 2014, 10:52 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 31, Colombo: A legislator of Sri Lanka's Marxist party Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) has called on the government to carry out a dialogue on the allegation that the government distorted the data on the country's economic growth.

Addressing a media conference Thursday, JVP parliamentarian Anura Kumara Dissanayake said instead of taking revenge on the official who exposed the distortion of data by the government agencies, the government should carry out a dialogue on the data distortion and come out with a solution.

MP Dissanayake last month in parliament questioned the integrity of Sri Lanka's growth figures accusing the Census and Statistics Department along with the Central Bank of manipulating data on the government's orders to get lower rates on foreign loans and attracting foreign investors.

The MP explained that when considering the economy of the country, the economic growth rate and inflation ratio are two important factors and the per-capita income, debt ratio and Gross National Product (GNP) are calculated according to this data.

If data on economic growth is distorted other data calculated based on it would get distorted, he explained.

He said the government started giving various explanations and hence the truth should be revealed to the masses.

Sri Lanka's Census and Statistics Department has dismissed the accusations of data manipulation saying that it follows international standards when preparing government data on vital indicators.

The Director General of the Census and Statistics Department D.C.A Gunawardena said the Department prepares data in accordance with the standards of international organizations such as World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the United Nations organizations.

The Director General accused the former acting director at the National Accounts Division of the Census and Statistics Department, H.S. Wanasinghe of making false statements and said the official will be dismissed.

The JVP MP said the government has fallen to a low level taking revenge from the Director of the National Accounts Division by transferring him from place to place and changing his position. However, the JVP would make all measures to protect the accused official, he added.

The MP pointed out that the state institutions should take measures to protect their liabilities and dignity and it is the responsibility of institutions such as the Departments of Police, Census and Statistics and the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption to protect their dignity.

He said the media and the politicians have a responsibility to expose them if they act irresponsibly.

"The economy blown up by the government would fall down soon. When it falls it would flatten our nation as well. It is our duty to point this out," Dissanayake said adding that the government, without going on a wild goose chase, should act to solve the problem.

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