Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday asserted that his government will face the Geneva resolution without fear and Sri Lanka cannot be subdued by the impact.
“We are not afraid to face the impact of Geneva (resolution). It is possible not to succumb to it. We are a free country. We will not fall prey to the power struggle in the Indian Ocean,” President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said today.
He underscored that the basic foundation needed to move the country forward has been laid recognizing and solving problems that people have been facing for a long time. The government is committed to providing basic amenities to the people. It is the responsibility of the government as well as the officials.
Economy of the country will be strengthened in a more effective manner for the country and solving the problems of the rural people will be given priority.
Colombo was developed as a green city in the previous Rajapaksa era. By 2030, 70% of energy needs are planned to be generated from renewable sources. Steps have been taken to supply power from more than 7000 solar power systems to the main power grid. The use of chemical fertilizers is reduced by 25% every year. These are all projects aimed at conserving the environment as well as strengthening the economy.
The President pointed out that local and foreign forces who cannot stand the progress and the mafia groups that support them are creating lies and misleading the people.
“If we do not see what is being done correctly and are deceived into misconceptions, the damage done in the last five years can happen again. If so, it will not be easy to repair the damage,” the President said.
The President made these remarks addressing a gathering at the inauguration of the 16th “Gama Samaga Pilisandara” (Discussion with the Village) program held at the Derangala Maha Vidyalaya premises in the Piriya Grama Seva Division, Kiriwelkele North, Pitabeddara Divisional Secretariat Division in the Matara District this morning (27).
“National security collapsed due to the foolish actions of the previous government. The Easter Sunday attack was a result of that. War heroes were imprisoned on baseless charges. The country’s sovereignty was shattered to the point of co-sponsoring the Geneva resolution. Raising issues with tamed elephants, attempts were made to destroy the heritage associated with culture, religion. The country was plunged into a massive crisis with agreements such as the MCC agreement and the Eastern Terminal. We are finding solutions to those today,” the President said.
Pointing out that those who created and supported all the issues are agitating against the present government, the President said that the strongmen of the former government are speaking and behaving today as if they were never in power.
Although it is not his policy to talk about baseless allegations, the President said he has to answer them to clarify the truth.
The “Discussion with the Village” program was launched on September 25, 2020 in the Badulla District. Past programs were organized covering Matale, Ratnapura, Anuradhapura, Ampara, Polonnaruwa, Kalutara, Moneragala, Kegalle, Kandy, Puttalam, Trincomalee, Kurunegala, Galle and Nuwara Eliya districts.
The President’s aim is to meet the people of remote villages outside the city who have not been given due attention so far, inquire into their problems and immediately bring them to the attention of the officials and provide solutions. Problems that take time to resolve will be noted to be addressed later. The aim of the “Discussion with the Village” program is to reach out to the people of the village, ask their questions and find solutions through their own suggestions.
Kiriwelkele North 3rd Phase Grama Niladhari Division is located 12 km away from Pitabeddara town. This is the second Discussion with the Village program in the Southern province. Kiriwelkele Grama Niladhari Division, a highland colony established in 1958, is the most difficult village which falls within the limits of Pitabeddara Divisional Secretariat area. The total population of the Grama Niladhari Division is 2990 comprising 622 families. Most of the owners of small tea holdings in the Matara district live here. The main source of income is tea and cinnamon, rubber, black pepper and coconut.
President Rajapaksa, who arrived at Dudley Senanayake Maha Vidyalaya, Pitabeddara, Dehigaspe to participate in the ‘Gama Samaga Pilisandara’ program, talked to the people gathered on both sides of the road from there Derangala Maha Vidyalaya and students and parents gathered near Derangala Kanishta Vidyalaya and inquired about their issues.
The President opened the smart classroom with high speed internet set up by SLT Mobitel at Derangala Maha Vidyalaya and handed over the laptops and telecommunication equipment and the TV set and the internet connection provided by Dialog Axiata to the Principal of Seelarathana Kanisala Vidyalaya, Banagala.
Another objective of President Rajapaksa is to develop school library facilities in all areas where the “Discussion with the Village” program is held. The President presented sets of books to schools under the program “A generation empowered with knowledge”. Each school receives 500 books covering a number of subjects to assist students in their further education.
A program to grant title deeds to the families who had been in possession of government lands without clear ownership started recently. President Rajapaksa today symbolically handed over grants to five families in the Pitabeddara Divisional Secretariat Division.
It was decided at the ‘Discussion with the Village’ dialogue to expedite the development of bridges including Pahuruthota, Jambugasdola, Mederipitiya and Velangavita which were destroyed by the floods.
President Rajapaksa advised to resolve unauthorized land use belonging to the Land Reforms Commission and to survey large plots of land under plantation companies after a joint inspection. It was decided to hold a “Land Day” to resolve all land issues in the villages including Pitabeddara.
The Road Development Authority was tasked with identifying unsafe slopes on the roads in the area and constructing safety fences.
President Rajapaksa instructed to complete the development of 120 km roads including road from near Podidahayakanda bus stand in Derangala, Banagala East Mahena Ella road, Banagala East Nagahahena 517 road in the next few months.
Farmers presented to the President the problems they face in selling cinnamon. The President instructed to formulate a proper system and monitoring system to stop the injustice of purchasing grade A cinnamon as grade B. The Ministry of Plantations has been directed to distribute high quality cinnamon seedlings to nurseries owned by Cinnamon Farmers’ Associations.
The small tea plantations in the area have a history of over 35 years. It takes more than 2 years to replant and harvest tea. The President emphasized the need to expedite the cultivation of tea by providing an annual allowance for the two years of such loss of income.
The President instructed the Secretary to the Ministry of Education to take steps to eliminate the shortage of teachers in schools including Thalapekumbura Junior College, Derangala Maha Vidyalaya, Siyambalagoda West Junior College, Kalubowitiyawa Maha Vidyalaya, infrastructure development and construction of a flyover at Alapaladeniya Secondary School.
It was instructed to set up a drinking water project in Morawaka and a number of small community water units covering 60 Grama Niladhari Divisions.
The President also directed the officials to provide immediate solutions to many problems of public including renovation of Derangala Health Center and infrastructure development and filling of vacancies in the health centers in the area.
Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, Minister Dullas Alahapperuma, Governor of the Southern Province Dr. Willie Gamage, State Minister Kanchana Wijesekera, Members of Parliament Nipuna Ranawaka, Weerasumana Weerasinghe, Karunaratne Kodituwakku, Chief Adviser to the President Lalith Weeratunga, security chiefs and several other officials joined the program today. – PMD