Former Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera says Sri Lanka will need to repay US$ 1 billion in January, 2019.
He says the money is part of debt taken by the Mahinda Rajapaksa Government in January 2014.
Samaraweera said that just nine days prior to the presentation of the 2019 budget, the Sirisena-Rajapaksa “coup” ousting the legitimate and lawful Prime Minister and cabinet has thrown the country and citizens into an unprecedented crisis.
The Speaker having gone through all legal procedures in Parliament has also declared that as per Article 48(2) of the constitution, the purported Prime Minister and his cabinet are illegal, Samaraweera said.
He said that as per Article 148 of the constitution, “Parliament shall have full control over public finance.”
“In the absence of a legitimate Government, a grave situation has now arisen as there is no legal way to meet public expenditure and obligations of the state from 2019. The constitution does not provide for any alternative arrangements for public finance, even with the intervention of the executive envisaged under the limited circumstances of article 150(3) under which the President can only allocate finances for the first 3 months of a new Parliament. Thus, under the current circumstances, from January 1st 2019 until a new Parliament is convened, the spending power of the state ceases to exist,” he said.
Samaraweera said that as the Finance Minister (former), he had made allocations to ensure funding until December 31st 2018, however from January 1st 2019, the country will fall into a crisis. (Colombo Gazette)