Mar 27, Colombo: President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has called on the local government representatives to join hands strongly to move forward the government’s policy and development campaign.
The President said development work must continue, fulfilling the expectations of the people of the government and emphasized that the issues faced by the people should be solved by properly implementing the plans of the government.
President Rajapaksa made these remarks addressing the meeting of local government representatives held at the Diyatha Uyana at Battaramulla on Friday (March 26). Local government representatives from Western, North-western and Southern provinces had attended the meeting.
Speaking further, the President said everyone must be committed to highlighting government policies, not individuals. “If policies fail, the country will inevitably plunge into despair. The President said he expects the same support and commitment given to bring the current administration to power when taking forward the government’s policies and course of action.
The main objective of the “Vision of Prosperity” policy statement is to eradicate poverty and bring prosperity to the people. The government is doing a great job in eradicating poverty and uplifting the low income people. The President said that he is committed to eradicate poverty in rural areas and provide a better living standard to the people during these five years.
He said it is important that local government representatives have a broad understanding of people’s issues in order to move forward with the rural development program. He urged them to help make the rural development program a success not only through political leadership but also through administrative leadership.
The President claimed that the Opposition is carrying out various false propaganda regarding the government's development program. The President also asked the local government representatives to go to the villages and work with the development of the villages to rectify such false propaganda.
“No matter what anyone says, the government is paying special attention to protect the environment,” the President said reminding that a number of important decisions have been taken for the environment including increasing the use of renewable energy to 70% by 2030, reducing the use of chemical fertilizers by 25% every year and banning the cultivation of oil palm (Katupol).
The third phase of Pura Neguma, which is being implemented with the assistance of the World Bank, is scheduled to commence soon. Basil Rajapaksa, National Organizer of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) said that this will address many of the shortcomings of local government bodies.
Basil Rajapaksa also said that the problems arising due to the lack of machinery, including heavy vehicles, required by the local government bodies would be resolved by the end of the year. It has been also decided to increase to funds provided to community organizations, he added.
Ministers Janaka Bandara Tennakoon and Prasanna Ranatunga, State Ministers Roshan Ranasinghe and D.V. Chanaka and MPs Udeni Atukorale, Sumith Udukumbura, Sagara Kariyawasam, Milan Jayathilake, Madhura Vithanage, Jayantha Ketagoda and Sudath Manjula were present at this meeting.