- Priority for national security then and now ….
- Foreign forces oppose nationalism and patriotism ….
- We made our farmers rich instead of foreign farmers…
- Secured sovereignty by withdrawing external agreements detrimental to the country….
President says at the “Discussion with the Village” programme
Opposition has the freedom to make various allegations. But these allegations should be based on facts. However, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa stated that the campaign to mislead the people by making absurd allegations cannot be allowed and must be countered.
‘Recently, a statement made by an Opposition MP regarding the Easter Sunday attack was circulated in the media. It is a statement that directly concerns national security. Therefore, the CID investigated the matter. The MP who made the allegation gave conflicting answers to the CID such as ‘I forgot, lost memory, I don’t know’. The people should never be misled by making such baseless allegations,’ the President pointed out.
The previous government co-sponsored the resolution brought against us by the UN Human Rights Council. Rejecting that position, the present government withdrew from co-sponsorship. Promises made to the people are being systematically fulfilled. We have withdrawn from the agreements that were detrimental to the country, including the MCC Compact. Earlier, protestors were treated with tear gas and baton charges, now we have allotted a separate site for demonstrations. Steps were taken to protect our farmers by building an agro-based economy while giving priority to national and local interests. The economic policy that has enriched the foreign farming community so far has been changed and the environment has been created to uplift our farmers by cultivating what can be grown in the country. It is in this context, the President stated that this is the first time that he has seen the Human Rights Council submitting a report with the highest number of allegations of human rights violations against the government.
The President made these remarks yesterday (13) participating at the 14th “Discussion with the Village” programme held at the Janapada Junior School premises in Galagoda East Grama Niladhari Division in the Hikkaduwa Divisional Secretariat Division of the Galle District.
The “Discussion with the Village” programme commenced on September 25, 2020 from Badulla District. Thereafter programmes were organized covering Matale, Ratnapura, Anuradhapura, Ampara, Polonnaruwa, Kalutara, Moneragala, Kegalle, Kandy, Puttalam, Trincomalee and Kurunegala districts. The ultimate goal of this programme is to meet the people in the remote villages, who have not been given due attention so far, inquire into their problems and immediately bring them to the notice of the officials and provide solutions.
The other issues which take time to deal with are noted down to find solutions later. Most issues identified during the “Discussion with the Village” programme are immediately addressed giving consideration to the suggestions and recommendations of the villagers with the assistance of the state officials.
Galagoda East Grama Niladhari Division is located 7 km away from the town of Ambalangoda. It is bordered on the south and east by Madampawila Sanctuary and to the Kuligoda village in Hikkaduwa Divisional Secretariat Division on the west. Galagodawatta Tsunami Village, Galagoda Colony and Galagoda New Colony belong to the Grama Niladhari Division. It has a population of 3711 comprising 1072 families. Fishing industry, Agriculture, Cinnamon and Coir rope industry are the main livelihoods of the villagers.
The President who arrived at the Galagoda Maga Neguma Ground to participate in the “Discussion with the Village” programme engaged in cordial discussions with the people who were gathered on both sides of the road leading to the Janapada Kanishta Vidyalaya and inquired about their existing issues and well-being.
President Rajapaksa declared the smart classroom open facilitated with a high speed internet connection donated by the SLT Mobitel at Janapada Kanishta Vidyalaya and presented laptops with internet connections to the principals of the Kuligoda Sumana Vidyalaya and Kumara Kashyapa Vidyalaya in addition to the television and the internet connection provided by Dialog Axiata.
Starting the “Discussion with the Village” program, the President inquired from the Maha Sangha about the shortcomings prevailing in the temples of the area.
President advised the officials to elevate Madampagama Maha Vidyalaya to the level of a National School and to develop the infrastructure facilities and the playgrounds of Ambalangoda Kularatne Maha Vidyalaya, Paraliya Sri Jinaratana Vidyalaya, Janapada Kanishta Vidyalaya, Weragoda Vijayaba Secondary School, Akurala Kanishta Vidyalaya, Kuligoda Sumana Vidyalayas.
President Rajapaksa paid special attention to the issues affecting the fishing industry, one of the main livelihoods of the people of Galaboda and the surrounding villages, and held lengthy discussions with the villagers and officials.
He instructed the officials to expedite the development of Peraliya, Dodanduwa, Ambalangoda, Hikkaduwa and Balapitiya fishing harbors. Special attention was paid to solve the problems of fishermen engaged in the seine(Ma dhal) fishing industry.
President Rajapaksa directed the government to renovate the tsunami fishing houses and expedite the resolution of long-standing land issues.
The President inquired into the difficulties faced by self-employed people in handicraft industries including Coir rope, mats, Coir and Coconut palm broom industries and directed the officials to provide them with the necessary facilities and a market for their products.
It was decided to carpet 21 roads and 49 short-distance roads in the area including the construction of Balapitiya, Maduwa Bridge and Rattagama Devithigoda Bridge.
Approval was granted to develop freshwater fisheries by converting abandoned paddy lands in Boossa, Pitiwella and Kadurupe areas into reservoirs. The President instructed 700 acres of fallow paddy lands identified in Ambalangoda to be distributed among 700 youths for Coconut plantation.
The President paid attention to a number of issues pertaining to tourism, health, drinking water, electricity and dairy farming.
The provision of grants to families who had been in possession of government lands without clear ownership started recently. President Rajapaksa presented grants for 5 lands under the Hikkaduwa Divisional Secretariat symbolically yesterday(13).
Another objective of President Rajapaksa is to promote 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 theme “A generation empowered with knowledge”. Each school receives 500 books covering a number of disciplines to assist students in their further education.
Minister Ramesh Pathirana, Governor of the Southern Province Dr. Willie Gamage, State Minister Mohan P. De Silva, MPs Sampath Athukorala, Chandima Weerakkody, Isuru Dodangoda, Shan Wijayalal De Silva, Principal Adviser to the President Lalith Weeratunga, People’s Representatives of the District, Secretaries to Ministries, Heads of Government Institutions and Defense Forces and several others were present at the “Discussion with the Village” program in Janapada Kanishta Vidyala premises. – PMD
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