Half the sitting members of parliament have signed a motion of no confidence against the prime minister. This is probably the first time in the history of the Westminster parliamentary tradition that such a large proportion of MPs have signed a no-confidence motion. This situation is not surprising given the unethical conduct of this government of which I too have been at the receiving end.
About a week ago, the prime minister said at a press conference that a sum of Rs. 28 billion obtained on credit by the Highways Ministry cannot be accounted for and that I had probably misused all the money to pay for helicopter rides and to provide free meals to people.  

But the Highways Ministry records prove that this short-term NSB loan was used to pay Rs. 6.5 billion as the local component of 22 foreign funded projects which included the Outer Circular Highway and the UK Steel Bridge project etc. Rs. 14 billion of it was spent on road widening and improvement , another Rs. 4 billion on maintenance and repair of bridges and the final Rs. 3.7 billion on Maganeguma rural road projects.  The prime minister was not speaking the truth when he said that this Rs. 28 billion had been used for purposes other than building roads.

While propagating falsehoods about the misuse of funds during my tenure, the government is mired in a massive Treasury bond scam which has already caused a loss of Rs.50 billion. In the meantime, the specially set up ‘Gestapo’ like police unit which reports directly to a cabinet sub-committee has been jailing the government’s political opponents. The blatant falsehoods, corruption and persecution of opponents under this government is what has led to this historic no-confidence motion.

Mahinda Rajapaksa
Former President