இவர் அண்மைக்காலமாக செய்திகளில் பலமாக வலம் வருகிறார்.
குறிப்பாக கஞ்சாவை சட்டபூர்வமாக்க வேண்டும் என்பது போன்ற பல முற்போக்கு கருத்துக்களை பேசுகிறார்
மேலும் பெண்ணுரிமை விடயங்களிலும் ஊடகங்களின் வெளிச்சம் இவர்மீது அதிகமாக விழுகிறது
எல்லாவற்றையும் விட இவர் தற்போது பௌத்த கலாச்சாரம் பற்றி தெரிவித்த கருத்துக்கள் முக்கியமானவையாகும்.
இது போன்ற பல விடயங்களை டெய்லி மிரர் பத்திரிகைக்காக இவர் வழங்கிய பேட்டியில் தெரிவித்திருக்கிறார் . அவற்றில் சிலவற்றை மட்டும் இங்கே தமிழில் வாசிக்கலாம்
முழு பேட்டி ஆங்கிலத்தில் உள்ளது
கேள்வி , கஞ்சாவை சட்டப்பூர்வமாக்குவது குறித்த உங்கள் அறிக்கை தலைப்புச் செய்தியாகியுள்ளது.
இது பௌத்த நாடாக இருப்பதால் உங்களது பிரேரணை நாட்டின் விழுமியங்களுக்கு எதிரானது என்ற வாதம் உள்ளது. கஞ்சா எவ்வாறு நாட்டிற்கு டாலர்களை ஈர்க்கும் என்பதை விளக்க முடியுமா?
பதில் : டயானா கமகே : முதலில் பௌத்த நாட்டிலிருந்து ஆரம்பிப்போம். தாய்லாந்து ஒரு பௌத்த நாடு ஆனால் அதன் சுகாதார அமைச்சர் கஞ்சாவை சட்டப்பூர்வமாக்கியுள்ளார்.
ஆனால் நீங்கள் கஞ்சா கடத்தினால் பிடிபட்டால் அபராதம் என்பது விதி.
கடந்த மாதம் கஞ்சாவை வைத்து தயாரிக்கக்கூடிய பொருட்களை உலகுக்கு காட்டும் கஞ்சா கண்காட்சியை நடத்தினர்.
இந்த கண்காட்சியை சுமார் 2.2 மில்லியன் பேர் பார்வையிட்டுள்ளனர்.
தாய்லாந்து எங்களை விட பௌத்தர்கள் என்று நான் நினைக்கிறேன்,
அவர்கள் நம்மை விட புத்த மதத்தை கடைபிடிக்கின்றனர்.
இங்கு நாம் பெயருக்காக பௌத்தத்தைப் பின்பற்றுகிறோம்.
கஞ்சா பல நூற்றாண்டுகளாக நமது வரலாற்றுடன் தொடர்புடையது.
பெண்கள் கர்ப்ப காலத்தில் கஞ்சாவை வலி நிவாரணியாக பயன்படுத்தினார்கள்.
2500 வருட பௌத்த கலாசாரக் கருத்து இந்த நாட்டை இன்று திவால் நிலைக்கு இழுத்துச் சென்றுள்ளது.
நான் ஒரு பௌத்த பின்னணியில் இருந்து வந்தவள்
ஆனால் நான் கோவிலில் அமர்ந்து நாட்டை சாக்கடையில் விட வேண்டும் என்று அர்த்தமில்லை.
பல பௌத்த பிக்குகள் இந்த யோசனைக்கு எனக்கு ஆதரவாக உள்ளனர்.
இது ஆங்கிலேயர்களால் இந்த நாட்டில் தடை செய்யப்பட்டது,
அது மீண்டும் சட்டப்பூர்வமாக்கப்பட வேண்டும்.
கஞ்சா நமது கலாச்சாரத்துடன் செல்கிறது.
ராவணனின் பேரன் மற்றும் ஹெம்ப் சணல் அல்லது கஞ்சாவுடன் தொடர்புடைய செடியோடு அவனது தொடர்பை கையெழுத்துப் பிரதிகளில் காணலாம்.\
hemp மரத்தைப் பயன்படுத்தி செய்யக்கூடிய பொருட்களின் அளவு எண்ணற்றது. \
நான் Hemp , Hemp கிரீம், ஷாம்பு மற்றும் கண்டிஷனர் ஆகியவற்றிலிருந்து பயோபிளாஸ்டிக் மூலம் செய்யப்பட்ட பற்பசை, பல் துலக்குதலைப் பயன்படுத்துகிறேன்.
ஐஸ்கிரீம் முதல் பிஸ்கட், தானியங்கள், ஜவுளி, காபி, டீ, சாக்லேட், செங்கல், பைகள், காகிதம் என அனைத்தும் hemp மரத்தில் இருந்து தயாரிக்கப்படும். வணிக நோக்கங்களுக்காக சணல் பயிரிடுவது இந்த நாட்டில் வறுமையை முடிவுக்குக் கொண்டுவருவதற்கான ஒரு வழியாகும்,
ஏனெனில் இது இந்த பகுதிகளில் உள்ளவர்களுக்கு அதிக வேலை வாய்ப்புகளை வழங்கும். முதலீட்டாளர்களும் பில்லியன் கணக்கான டாலர்களை முதலீடு செய்வார்கள்,
மேலும் நாட்டை மீண்டும் செழிப்புக்கு மீட்டெடுக்க முடியும்.
எனவே அதன் வணிக மதிப்பில் கவனம் செலுத்த வேண்டும்.
dailymirror.lk : Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) national list Parliamentarian Diana Gamage made headlines for several of her controversial statements including the proposal to legalise cannabis. Her decision to vote for the 20th Amendment compelled her party seniors to expel her from the party; allegedly sans a hearing or a disciplinary inquiry and the matter is pending in Supreme Court. Recently, Gamage was appointed as the State Minister of Tourism under the Ranil Wickremesinghe administration and she has been very vocal about reviving Colombo’s nightlife. This statement was rather misunderstood as many thought that she was talking about prostitution. In a candid interview with the Daily Mirror, Gamage spoke about her political stance, whether voting in favour of the 20th Amendment was a betrayal, why she supports the Executive Presidency, her proposals to legalise and promote cannabis as a commercial crop and her plans to revive Sri Lanka’s nightlife. Excerpts:
Q You were given the opportunity to enter politics by SJB, but you left the party and joined the government. There’s confusion about your political stance. Could you explain it?
There is no confusion. There are so many politicians in the government, but they are in that party and have been independent MPs. My case is no different to any of that. SJB is a party called Our National Front and its symbol is the telephone. The original owner of the party is Mangala Samaraweera and in 2011 my husband took the party from Mangala since he was in the UNP and he didn’t need a party. Since then we have owned the party and maintained it and have had a candidate at every Presidential Election and have contested in some provincial elections as well. It is a legal party and is registered at the Elections Commission. Originally I am from the UNP and contested under the UNP ticket to the Colombo district Provincial Council in 2014 and was the organizer for the Vavuniya electorate during the 2019 Presidential Elections. I was supporting Sajith Premadasa because we were against Sajith being the Presidential candidate because we always noticed that he was never material to be a leader of a country. I would say that tomorrow as well. There were so many who were against him, but our incumbent President decided that he had to put Sajith as the candidate at that time. Therefore we obeyed his decision and went along with it. From Vavuniya itself, Sajith won with over 60,000 votes. I worked only three weeks in Vavuniya and got this score. Around 5.5 million people voted for Sajith Premadasa and these were UNP votes.
There was a debate about who would take UNP party leadership and after around 40 unsuccessful working committee meetings they decided to break away. But at one point when we spoke to Ranil Wickremesinghe he agreed with us to take our party and go as a coalition to contest the Presidential election. That didn’t go ahead and they decided that Sajith would contest and they were looking for a party. There were so many who brought parties to them. Many were demanding a lot of things such as two or three national list positions, to have their own secretaries etc. But when it came to us myself and my husband thought that he was voted in by 5.5 million people in this country and that it is his duty to represent these people. So we negotiated with them and he said that he would give two national list positions and that I would be made Deputy Secretary and my husband, the deputy chairman. My husband said that he doesn’t do politics and said that one national list position is more than enough since I have been in politics. Then with a good heart we did what we had to do and appointed Sajith and Ranjith Maddumabandara as Chairman and General Secretary respectively. I could have easily won the Vavuniya electorate and entered Parliament. But unfortunately Ranjith Maddumabandara has no clue about party politics and the party constitution and this is the same with Sajith as well. Both my husband and myself had to run here and there and were doing the administrative work as well. Then we got around seven national list positions, but Sajith lost. However, I was put in the national list with much reluctance. Both Sajith and Ranjith have lied to all their MPs about how this party came by and as a result many were against giving me a position.
Q Your party membership was suspended since you voted in favour of the 20th Amendment. What are your reasons to support this Amendment?
Yes. We swear in Parliament to protect the government, country and Constitution. We don’t swear to protect our leader or our party. When the 20th Amendment was tabled, according to my conscience I decided that I’m going to vote for the Executive Presidency. I thought that Sri Lanka is a country that needs Executive power. Without executive power the Yahapalana government was a total mess. We lost five years since nobody had the power. Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe didn’t have the power to do what they wanted and there was a tug of war between them ever since. This time I decided to vote for this amendment as it has to happen in Sri Lanka. I voted for it and I let Sajith know that I’m going to do it. But unfortunately Gotabaya Rajapaksa couldn’t complete his term. But today Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is the Executive President and he is taking all decisions that an Executive can take. Then they branded me as supporting the government and I said that I’m pledging my support to the government. Then suddenly after about a year one media personnel called me and said that I was being expelled from the party. I just laughed because I’m a lifetime member of this party and the Deputy Secretary. There has to be a hearing to hear my story first. They never did that and there’s a case going on at the Supreme Court and the next hearing will take place in the near future. But very soon I will be taking back the party.
Q Don’t you think that you betrayed the party by voting for the 20th Amendment?
No. You swear in Parliament saying that you’re going to protect the government, country and Constitution. That is exactly what I did. It’s nothing to do with betrayal. Betrayal is being with the party and defecting for money to get a Ministerial post. I did it for the country and the Constitution.
Q The 20th Amendment gives absolute power to one person. Do you agree with all clauses in the Amendment?
No, I don’t agree with everything. Very unfortunately it comes as one vote. There are certain things such as the President’s power to dissolve Parliament after two years; this is unfair for the people who have voted in these MPs to serve them for five years. It sets a bad precedent as well.
Q With Executive power on his hands, Gotabaya Rajapaksa made statements like whatever he said is the circular and there was a lot of misuse of power. Do you support this misuse of power as well?
No, not at all. This is nothing to do with the Executive power. When a school principal does something wrong, you don’t replace the position but the individual. You won’t take off that board and say that there won’t be principals anymore. So this individual should be able to use Executive power in the right way. Ranil Wickremesinghe also has Executive power, but it is up to that individual to use or abuse this power. When a knife is made you can either use it to chop vegetables or kill someone. The purpose of the knife depends on the person who’s going to get it. Similarly, this power depends on the individual. If it is the right decision and would do good to the people of this country then he can go ahead. If he abuses it, then that’s the individual’s issue.
Q Since July 22 there has been state repression against peaceful protesters. Some have been arbitrarily detained under the Prevention to Terrorism Act. By supporting the Executive Presidency do you support these moves by the government as well?
What is Terrorism? We need to differentiate between terrorism and violence. What or whom can we bring under PTA? We need to see if these people have committed crimes under the PTA. I wouldn’t agree on these arrests if there’s no terrorism act being committed. We have to have a Terrorism Act in the country because we have been in a 30-year war. That doesn’t mean you can take innocent people including Tamil people. I feel that whoever who has been detained under the PTA should be released and these cases should be expedited. They should find if these people are guilty and they should be released. They have their families who are waiting for them. We have to sympathize with these people. If they are guilty then you should decide on the punishment. Sri Lanka has to be a peaceful country and a wholly peaceful country.
Q You were appointed as state minister of transport under the Gotabaya Rajapaksa administration. As you know women face much harassment when using public transport. Could you not make at least a little change to this serious crime?
I have given various proposals to former President Rajapaksa. This country’s transport sector needs to be upgraded to standard where a young girl, a woman or anyone for that matter could travel safely. I have said that I myself should be able to travel in public transport like in other countries. We bring in rules and regulations and punishments but there are no alternatives. There are nearly 15,000 lorries coming to Colombo on a daily basis carrying vegetables and other produce. Can you imagine the traffic, pollution and fuel consumption? I therefore suggested that these goods including vegetables could be transported by train. That makes it much easier. I said that the roads have to be safe and I have given ideas like having double decker buses to transport people. When I gave him these ideas he gave me the post of State Minister of Transport. I even said that we should get the LRT project back. There were some investors who came to Sri Lanka to setup a commercial city and another set of investors to setup an electric vehicle plant in the country. But unfortunately I was in this position for only three weeks.
Q There’s a huge tax being imposed on sanitary napkins leading up to period poverty and as a result girls in rural areas don’t attend school during their menstruation period. How do you plan to intervene in this matter as a female politician?
The tax imposed on sanitary napkins is unaffordable and sanitary napkins should be made an essential item because it is an essential item for a woman. There are 52% women in this country and we need to make it available and affordable for them (sanitary napkins). This has to be looked into in a very sympathetic way. There are young girls who don’t attend school because of this issue. Young girls will face health problems. If there are three or four girls in a household it will be a huge problem. We have to be able to produce it locally without importing it. The Prisons Department produced around 50,000 napkins but they stopped this project due to lack of materials. But I will discuss with the justice minister to revive this project so that they can make their own napkins and the excess could be sent to the market.
Q Your statement on legalizing cannabis made headlines. There is an argument that this being a Buddhist country your proposal is against the country’s values. Could you explain how cannabis would attract dollars into the country?
Firstly we’ll start with the Buddhist country. Thailand is a Buddhist country but its health minister has legalized cannabis. But the clause is if you are caught transporting cannabis there’s a fine. Last month they had a cannabis exhibition showing the world the products that could be made with cannabis. Around 2.2 million visited this exhibition. I think Thailand is more Buddhist than we are and they practice Buddhism than us. Here, we follow Buddhism for the namesake. Cannabis has been associated with our history for centuries. Women used cannabis as a painkiller during their pregnancy. The 2500-year Buddhist culture concept has dragged this country towards bankruptcy today. I come from a Buddhist background but that doesn’t mean that I should sit in a temple and let the country go down the drain. Many Buddhist monks are supporting me with this idea. It was banned in this country by the British and it should be legalized once again. Cannabis goes with our culture. Ravana’s grandson and his association with hemp can be discovered in the manuscripts. The amount of products that could be made using the hemp tree are numerous in number. I use the toothpaste, the toothbrush that has been made out of bioplastics from hemp, hemp cream, shampoo and conditioner. Everything from ice cream to biscuits, cereals, textiles, coffee, tea, chocolate, bricks, bags and paper could be made from the hemp tree. Cultivating hemp for commercial purposes will be one way to end poverty in this country as it would provide more job opportunities to people in these areas. Investors too will invest billions of dollars and we can revive the country back to prosperity. We therefore have to focus on its commercial value.
Q What is the progress right now?
I have appointed a committee to look into the legal aspects of this matter and how it could be given under the sponsorship of the government so that it won’t go into the hands of the public. Since cannabis is legalized in countries such as California, Canada, Colorado and even Columbia where they are producing hardcore drugs there’s a 40% reduction in the usage of hardcore drugs. Look at these young ones, they are addicted to ice, heroin, cocaine and they are ruining their health. Our people used it back in the day and they didn’t feel pain. They were able to concentrate when carving on stones etc. That is when the British started to ban it and introduced alcohol and nicotine to weaken our people. There had been opium cafés back in the day. The Portuguese introduced it and the Dutch and British continued it. That’s how they banned the growth of cannabis in the country. We are still in the 18th century. We are talking about one country one law and we need to practice what we preach. But we are still under the British law and how can we progress with these acts? Therefore we have to fix it according to the new world. Those living in history has no future. We can remember our future but we shouldn’t live in it.
Q Recently you have said that Colombo’s nightlife should be improved as Colombo is like cemetery at night. Tell us about your plans and proposals in this regard.
We have been to other countries and we have experienced nightlife. But in Sri Lanka, people think that when you say nightlife it is only prostitution. This is the only thing that comes to their mind. Prostitution was the only kind of entertainment since those days but the world has changed. I’m talking about musical shows, food streets and the atmosphere coming to life at night where families can enjoy. Without a night economy, no country can develop. During the day people earn and what are we earning from the foreigners? The foreigners enjoy nightlife but what is the income we get from Sigiriya, Anuradhapura and other religious sites? It is just a pittance compared to what we can earn if we revive Sri Lanka’s nightlife. This is not only in Colombo but I have a plan to expand it to the North and East. There can be nightlife in cities like Kandy as well. This doesn’t mean putting up a nightclub in front of the Dalada Maligawa. There can be designated areas for food festivals, shopping streets etc. Most cities are dead after 7.00pm. Therefore you need to give foreigners an opportunity to spend. You can’t close a bar at 11.00pm and ask people to go home. People leave their rooms at 10.00pm and you can’t shut a hotel at 11.00pm. Places like Colombo, Kandy, Matara, Galle should have its places open 24/7. This is what I mean by nightlife. Another important aspect is safety. Foreigners should feel safe to travel around the country and it should be made a safe haven to travel to. The attitudes of the immigration staff need to be changed. We need to have a non-Sri Lankan passport holder counter as well. They have to be given that special treatment.
Q Apart from safety, foreigners have complained of instances where they were being overcharged and there’s discrimination against tourists as well. How do you plan to address these issues?
These issues have to be stopped. A local is charged Rs. 100 and a foreigner pays twice more. Even the visa fee should be scrapped. A certain levy should be added to the ticket. I suggest that we should give visa on arrival because we are a tourist destination. We can monitor them thereafter and if they overstay they can be fined. We need to open the country to the world. We can’t eat the cake and keep the cake as well. We can do anything we want to revive this country. It’s a matter of having the right idea and the want. That’s why I say that we should put party politics aside and get together to revive the country. Either you separate and lose or unite and win.