May 21, Colombo: Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena today requested the public to render support setting aside political differences to make the ambitious Gramashakthi poverty alleviation program with the goal of poverty eradication by 2030 through empowerment of village a reality.
The President made this request while participating in a progress review meeting of the Gramashakthi People's Movement in Uva province at the Badulla Library Auditorium this morning (21st) with the attendance of all regional stakeholders.
At the meeting today President Sirisena reviewed the implementation and the progress of the program in the Uva Province with the political representatives and government officials paying wide attention on the problems faced by the people in the Province.
The President, who intently listened to the problems presented at the meeting instructed the officials to promptly respond to the issues.
The President instructed the authorities to expedite the reopening of the now closed bag manufacturing factory at the Koskanuwela Grama Niladhari Division in the Welimada Divisional Secretariat Division of the Badulla District and restart operations under the Gramashakthi People's Movement.
The President also instructed the state officials to pay special attention to the program for improving agriculture in the Monaragala District.
Instructing the government officials to take all necessary steps to provide immediate relief to those affected by the heavy rains, the President pointed out the importance of managing the rain water received after five years of drought for making the future agricultural activities successful.
Emphasizing that the country can move towards higher economic development only through an agro-based economy, President Sirisena requested all the local politicians to set aside political differences and commit themselves to the task of fulfilling a great deal of work to build a successful country through the Gramashakthi movement.
He said the progress is formidable and poverty can be progressively and definitively overcome when people, public, and private sectors come together to empower the community.
People's representatives of all political parties in the Province, who attended the meeting, assured the President of their maximum support for the program to achieve its goals.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was also signed between the Uva Province Gramashakthi flower growers and Hayleys Pvt. The agreement ensures that the flower growers' products will be purchased at the standard prices in the market and that the new technology and equipment will be provided to the growers.
The floriculture project is being implemented in the Welimada, Uva Paranagama and Haputale Divisional Secretariats in the Badulla District with the cooperation of the Hayleys Ltd targeting local and overseas markets.
The President also gave the first installment of the money granted by the Government for the Gramashakthi program in Badulla and Monaragala Districts. Accordingly Badulla District received Rs. 22.5 million and Monaragala District received Rs.16.5 million.
The Gramashakthi Movement was launched on a concept of President Maithripala Sirisena as one of the key poverty eradication projects.
Many projects to eliminate poverty have been launched in the past as a venture between the state and the public. However, for the first time the Gramashakthi Movement formally use the private sector participation in order to provide a better and stable price and a continuous market for the people's products and make the poverty alleviation campaign a success.
The program aids the people to identify their potential to rise independently, organize the people in a proper way, and will create a way for them to deal in parallel with larger companies.
The Gramashakthi Movement is being implemented island-wide by giving priority to districts most populous with low income people. The Program launched covering 1000 villages will be expanded to 5,000 villages by the year 2020.