Sri Lanka opposition presidential candidate’s speech to the business community

Jan 12, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s common opposition candidate for upcoming presidential polls, retired general Sarath Fonseka met the business community Tuesday.

The following is the prepared text of his speech.

The nation’s wealth is being squandered on self- perpetuating projects that are both wasteful and meaningless. Billions have been lost due to corruption, nepotism, mismanagement and waste. Public funds are being used to sustain and nurture a single family. The goodwill of the international community has been destroyed, so much so the US and the European Union have become our harshest critics. The economy is in ruins and we are on the verge of losing the GSP+ trade concessions that are of immense benefit to our export sector and the hundreds of thousands employed in the apparel, ceramics and many other sectors.

Under the guise of security, our citizens are increasingly being denied their democratic freedoms. Dissent has been suppressed, sometimes violently, with the independent media and its journalists coming under frequent threats and attack. A significant segment of the Tamil population from the north continues to languish in IDP shelter and in transit camps with uncertain futures. The rule of