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* Sri Lanka PM says those who were responsible for the downfall of the country should not be allowed to return to power
Sun, Aug 11, 2019, 10:11 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Aug 11, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says that those who destroy the country should be identified regardless of whatever disguise they are in and defeated.

The Prime Minister pointed out that Rajapaksa regime, which was in power for 10 years, could not develop the country and although they have changed clothes and returned once again, same old ways will prevail. He asked how they could fix the economy in the next five years if they failed to do so during the ten years of their rule.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe made this observation at a ceremony held in Kurunegala Municipal Council Hall this morning to pay compensation to the farmer community.

The handing over of compensation to farmers who were impacted by the drought during the Yala season last year took place under the patronage of the Prime Minister.

The Government has allocated a sum of 45 million rupees for the payment of compensation for farmers who faced the destruction of paddy and maize cultivations during the Yala season within the Kurunegala District. The compensation is being paid on behalf of 6659 farmers. Symbolically 40 million rupees was paid as compensation to nearly one thousand farmers today.

The Government has already finalized arrangements to complete the payment of this compensation to all farmers within the next few days.

Speaking further, the Premier said the present government has taken steps to rebuild the country that was destroyed in the last few years with various challenges, and develop a strong future for all its citizens.

He said the time has come for people to decide whether to continue that program and make Sri Lanka a better country or to drag the country back to the destructive era.

"Mahinda Rajapaksa regime could not develop the country for 10 years. I ask how they come to power changing the name and develop the country. After the end of the war there was no reconciliation. Instead, there were many problems. However, despite all challenges, we came forward in five years with reconciliation."

"During the 10 years of Rajapaksa regime exports have come down from 30% to 18%. GSP Plus concession was lost. The country was isolated before the world. However, within five years we were able to rebuild all these and develop the country."

"The rulers could not protect the independence of the Supreme Court for 10 years. There was no press freedom then. Democracy was not protected. There was a white van culture in the country. The country was in a very bad state in every direction. No funds were allocated for health and education. The people have to decide whether they are going through such a destructive era again or if they are going to go ahead with the program implemented in the last five years and develop the country."

"Changing clothes and face does not make any difference. Dove is a Dove whether fried in milk or oil. People should understand that. Whatever happens, the dove will not be an eagle," Mr. Wickremesinghe added.

UNP General Secretary and Minister of Education Akila Viraj Kariyawasam stated that there is no other leader in the history of Sri Lanka who has foresight as Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Among those present on the occasion were Ministers P. Harrison, Akila Viraj Kariyawasam and Ashok Abeysinghe as well as Ministry Secretaries and public representatives.

He said that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe took steps to rebuild the country despite many challenges and pointed out that at a time when the results of those efforts are seen, certain forces were instigating Buddhism and communalism in order to come to power.

Minister of Agriculture, Rural Economic Affairs, Irrigation and Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development P. Harrison pointed out that after coming to power the present government has taken measures to strengthen the economy of the farmer community and said the price of a kilo of paddy will be increased by 5 rupees from the Yala season.

State Minister of Internal and Home Affairs and Provincial Councils and Local Government JC Alawathuwala, State Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Ashok Abeysinghe, politicians and government officials were present.


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