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I had not expected to speak today, so you must forgive me, Mr Chair, if I am not as polished or eloquent as the member from Matara who spoke first today. However, having heard his misleading statements, I felt they needed refutation.

Mr Chair, listening to the whole Opposition during this budget debate, one felt that they were like the Bourbon dynasty in France, in that they have remembered nothing, and forgotten nothing. Indeed Mr Mangala Samaraweera, in claiming that he had been dismissed from the Cabinet, in his strange and childish excursion into numerology, seemed to have forgotten that, far from having been dismissed, he had himself resigned, in a grand gesture of solidarity with Mr Anura Bandaranaike – who promptly went back into the cabinet, leaving his colleague out in the cold. And in criticizing those who changed parties in Parliament, he has forgotten his own history.

It was also sad that he has forgotten all about the fickleness of fashion. When I first knew him, he was a very distinguished fashion designer, who rejoiced in the name of Mangala Innocence, whether appropriately or not I cannot say. He should know that fashions change, and sometimes several different styles are in fashion at the same time. Thus he spent much time in quoting from Bloomberg, as though it were the final word, without reflecting on all the different approaches that we see in other media outlets today.

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Rajiva Wijesinha

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