Aug 06, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Sunday said his government will not tolerate corruption and vowed to remove those who involved in corruption if investigations prove.
In a hard-hitting speech in Hatton today, the Premier said the United National Party is not a party of 'thieves' and if investigations prove that there are thieves in the UNP, they will be removed.
"This government will not keep anyone who is corrupted. Our party is not a party of thieves. We will remove the thieves if there are any but let us do it transparently," the Premier said.
The Prime Minister said that if any matter were uncovered, those reports would be probed and now anyone could be questioned
He said those who voted for the government want a corruption-free society and if the government fails to do so the public will vote them out next time and asked the members of the government not to get involved in corruption.
Prime Minister's comments come amid the controversy surrounding Minister Ravi Karunanayake and opposition's call for his resignation.
Speaking further the Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said his government is investigating all the corruption cases and no one can escape.
He said the government is investigating all corruption cases during the previous regime and the police have filed cases on some of them. Some have been directed to the Attorney General.
"We have filed cases against the previous government's corruption. They are going on. No one can escape," he said.
He said when the Central Bank Bond issue allegations were made against the government, he appointed an internal probe and later it was referred to a parliamentary committee headed by an opposition member. "Nobody opposed that," he said.
The Premier also pointed out that now there is freedom for the law to even question a government minister.
"Today, there is so much so freedom ministers are brought in for questioning. Was that what it used to be? Before Attorney General was the President's disciple. If the Attorney General was like today he would have been removed or taken by a white van," the Premier said.
The Prime Minister criticizing the mainstream media said those media outlets catered to the Rajapaksa regime are now saying that there are thieves in the present government.
Recalling the killing of journalist Lasantha Wickremetunga and disappearance of Prageeth Ekneligoda, the Premier said now when the government probes these cases, the media say it's a threat to national security.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was participating in a series of religious ceremonies held in parallel to the meeting of the UNP members of the Maskeliya Divisional Council today. The events were organized to mark the 40th anniversary of the Prime Minister's political life.