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* Sri Lankan government adopting only populist policies for people's welfare - President
Wed, Jun 11, 2014, 11:26 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

June 11, Polonnaruwa: The present government under no circumstances is prepared to change its policies established for the welfare of the people, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa today emphasized.

The President said his government is adopting only populist policies and will not betray the facilities enjoyed by the people to anyone.

Addressing the ceremony held today in Polonnaruwa to declare open the access road to the historic Somawathiya Chaithya after its reconstruction, the President said a country cannot be developed without granting transport, education, health, communication and other facilities.

He said that when the government is focusing special attention on health and education, it is ensuring that those facilities are also benefitting the children in the villages.

President Rajapaksa declared open the access road to the historic Somawathiya Chaithya constructed by the Road Development Authority at a cost of Rs. 3.5 billion.

During a visit to Somawathiya , the President, who is also the Minister of Ports and Highways, has observed the dilapidated condition of the access road and instructed the relevant authorities to reconstruct it immediately allocating the grants required for the work.

The 38-kilometer one lane road has been reconstructed with two lanes seven meters wide. The 26-kilometer segment from the Polonnaruwa City to the Sungawila town has been carpeted and developed while the 12-kilometer segment from Sungawila to Somawathiya has been concreted and reconstructed. Four long bridges and 109 culverts have also been constructed along the road.

The earlier two and half hour journey from Polonnaruwa to Somawathiya will now take only 30 minutes.

Speaking about the development in the country, the President said his next goal is to provide clean drinking water to the whole island from Pedro Point in the North to Dondra Point in the South.

Minister Maithripala Sirisena, Project Minister Nirmala Kotelawala, members of the Maha Sangha including Chief Incumbent of the Somawathiya Vihara the Ven. Pahamune Sumangala Thera, political representatives, and government officials were present on the occasion.

The President also declared open several new construction projects at the Royal College in Polonnaruwa this morning.

The President opened the new administration complex and the Mahindodaya Laboratory and vested the C. P. de Silva Memorial Theater with the students.

The President said that the Minister of Education has been instructed to formulate special programs including conducting of revision classes for the students who become unsuccessful in passing math and other subjects in the GCE Ordinary Level Examination. He said that such students cannot be removed from the schools.

Visiting the Dimbulagala Aranya, the President met the Chief incumbent Ven. Maldeniye Jinalakara Nayaka Thero and inquired about his wellbeing.

The Thero explained to the President that Aranya has been gazetted as a sacred area but its development work has not yet begun.

He instructed the relevant officials expedite the construction work of the sacred city area and ordered the officials of the Urban Development Authority, Archeological Department, The Central Cultural Fund and Sri Lanka Army to expeditiously prepare the plans for this purpose.

(Photos by Nalin Hewapathirana)

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