Jan 11, Colombo: Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena today promised to protect the nation from the financial crisis of the country that arose due to the "mammoth debt burden" created by the previous government.
He said that whatever allegations were leveled against the present Government, the financial crisis of the country occurred not during the past two years, but due to the debt taken by his predecessor's government.
The present government headed by him, took the responsibility of resolving the issue and despite the challenges came across for the government, they will fulfill the responsibility of building a prosperous nation with the contribution of the people, the President said.
He made these remarks addressing the public rally held at the ground of the Elahera Maha Vidyalaya, Wednesday (11) after the ceremony to fill the water to the Moragahakanda reservoir.
President Sirisena inaugurated the filing of water to the Moragahakanda reservoir which is the biggest multi-functional irrigation project, today. Also the groundbreaking ceremony of the construction of Ehala Elahera Ela (canal), which will be the longest irrigation canal in the country, was held at the auspicious time under the patronage of President, turning a new page in the history of irrigation of this country.
Addressing the gathering the President further said that today is the happiest day of his life as his dream became a reality, ending the sorrowful stories of the Rajarata farmers.
The Moragahakanda development project will make a revival in the fields of agriculture and irrigation, the President said that adding the aim with the implementation of this kind mega scale project is to build again the self-sufficient and prosperous economy in the country, which was existed in the history.
The President stated though we have to face a critical drought due to climate conditions, the government will not allow the people to starve. "The government has decided to import rice and give it to the people for lower price," he said.
"By paying attention on the future challenges which will be faced by the farming community, the government has prepared required plans for their welfare. A ministerial subcommittee has been appointed on this regard," the President said.
The Moragahakanda reservoir which is spread over 460,000 acres is the fourth largest reservoir in Sri Lanka. It is the largest reservoir, built in the country after 30 years.
This project, which solves the long term water issue, faced by the people in the districts of Matale, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Trincomalee, costs US$ 555.7 million.
The cannel in Ihala Elahera is being built from Moragahakanda to Mahakandarawa in Anuradhapura. It is 103. Kilometers long. This, which is the longest canal in Sri Lanka costs Rs. 65 billion. This will be built within five years.
The President, who attended the meeting with the people in the playground in Elahera Maha Vidyalaya, presented the deeds of the lands for the people who lost their lands due to the Moragahakanda development project.
The President also awarded scholarships to the children of low income families and granted loans to farmers under organic fertilizer scheme.
Chinese Ambassador Yi Xianliang, Minister Duminda Dissanayake, Deputy Minister Anuradha Senevirathne, Chief Minister of the Central Province Sarath Ekanayake and the Secretary of the Mahaweli Development and Environment Udaya R. Senevirathne also participated in the event.