TULF will oppose budget -Pararajasingham
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 15 February 2000, 12:46 GMT]
"The millennium budget of the PA government is a war budget. The TULF will therefore oppose it when it comes up for vote in Parliament," said TULF MP for Batticaloa Joseph Pararajasingham.
"This budget is intended to continue the war," he said when contacted by TamilNet for his comments on the budget.
"41.47 billion rupees has been allocated for defence spending in this budget, while the estimated defence expenditure for 2000 is 48.11 percent. Most probably the war spending this year will go up to 60 billion through supplementary estimates.
"More money than what was allocated in the budget for the war was raised in the past through supplementary estimates.
"41.27 billion was allocated for defence last year. However, it was raised to 56 billion later through several supplementary estimates. It appears the same will happen this year as well.
"Money has been allocated in this budget for a factory to make belts, shoes and uniforms for the Sri Lanka Army, Navy, Air force, Police and prison guards. Funds have also been set side in this budget for a Police training college, where policemen would receive military training along with their regular training.
"All this indicates the government is bent on pursuing the war.
"The fee for passports has been increased. A person who looses his passport will have to pay 10,000 rupees to get a new one.
"This will largely affect the Tamils as the majority of the people seeking passports are Tamils from the north and east who have been affected by the war. They are the ones who are most likely to loose their passports due to war displacement and confiscation during search operations by the Army and Police in Colombo.
"The TULF will therefore not vote for this budget, which is intended to prolong the war," Mr. Pararajasingham told TamilNet.