By Zacki Jabbar
Ninety Rolls Royce cars are to be imported at enormous cost, for the November Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) to be held in Colombo, but many countries were expected to boycott the confab, the UNP said yesterday.
UNP parliamentarian Harin Fernando told a news conference in Colombo that the CHOGM should be called off, since the delegates would end up talking about human rights violations under the Rajapaksa regime.
The guest list of 4,000 included 90 heads of government. It would be like a wedding without a bride since the head of the Commonwealth, the Queen, it was said would not attend. Eventually only a small number would turn up. But the preparations were continuing at enormous cost to the country, which it could ill afford, he said.
A repeat of the situation that existed prior to the 1976 Non-Aligned Summit in Colombo was being witnessed, with the city being cleared of beggars and shanty dwellers, Fernando said, while recalling that one year later the Srimavo Bandaranaike government was toppled. He predicted that the same thing would happen in 2014.Recently, President Mahinda Rajapaksa flew to the Mattala Airport to be greeted by a big contingent of children. However, he failed to tell them that they would be inheriting the huge debt burden that his administration had created, the MP observed.