Leaders who can deliver, the need of the hour - Dr. Harsha | Sunday Observer

Leaders who can deliver, the need of the hour - Dr. Harsha

The country not only needs leaders with a vision but also those who can deliver, former MP and Samagi Jana Balavegaya candidate Dr. Harsha de Silva said in an interview with the Sunday Observer.??


Q. There are others who are claiming credit for the 1990 Suwa Seriya project. What are your views about that?

A. Success has many fathers and failure is an orphan. A primary discussion was held with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Yash Sinha and in March 2015.??

I wanted to launch this initiative because of a personal experience of mine where a friend of mine was critically injured.??

Nobody tried to take credit earlier. When the UNP split and we went with Sajith, contesting people started to sling mud at me and tried to take credit. The Prime Minister and the President will share the credit because they were the pillars of the Government. But this was my brainchild. It was I who spoke to Prime Minister Modi.??

It is not just about getting a grant. There are many things that have started with grants but they have flopped. But I built this from nothing to what it is today, the most efficient service in the country. I have done what I did and people are benefitting from it. I am happy about it.??

Q.How many seats is the Samagi Jana Balawegaya planning to secure at the Parliamentary election?

A. We are trying to get 113. Let us see how people will vote. We are trying to take the control of Parliament. ??

Q. Do you think people trust Sajith Premadasa after what happened during the Presidential Election last year?

A. People voted for Gotabaya Rajapaksa. He won fair and square. He got a mandate from the people to serve people. Let him do that.??

We are trying to make Sajith the Prime Minister, which is not just an individual vote but a collective vote for everyone contesting with him from different districts.

This vote is not just for Sajith. It is for all of us together.??

Q. The UNP has said that they wanted new faces and this was the reason they banished the crooks. Have the crooks joined the SJB?

A. I have no comment about that. I have no intention to criticise Ranil Wickremesinghe or the UNP.??

Q. Are you worried about holding an election amid a pandemic?

A. We are worried about the society at large. But they showed that we were scared to run and that we were worried about elections. Subsequently, the Election Commission decided on a date. Now, we are ready to have the election on that date.??

If the Election Commission decides to hold the election as planned on August 5, we are ready for that.??

Q. What do you think about printing money to keep the economy running?

A. If you have a stomach ache. You need to take medicine for the stomach, not for the throat. The Government has misdiagnosed the problem and is forcing the Central Bank to print money assuming that it is due to lack of liquidity or lack of money in the commercial banks. The problem is, there is enough money in the system.

?The banks are not willing to lend to the private sector, particularly small and medium enterprises, because they don’t have collateral for the loans.??

What is necessary is for the Government or the Treasury to support the SMEs by providing a collateral or a guarantee on their behalf to the commercial banks.

?That is why people like myself argued for what is called a parcel credit guarantee program.??

Money printing is not the solution because excessive printing of money will result in inflation.??

Q. What are your intentions when running for the Parliamentary election?

A. Basically, what we need to do is to elect people who have a vision for the country. My vision is to create a knowledge based, highly competitive, social market economy. We are producing simple products, but we can build complex products. We need reforms, attitudinal change and people with a vision to achive that.?? I not only have a vision for the country but also deliver as I did with the Suwa Seriya.? ??