|Monday, 15 March 2004|
Freedom Alliance policies will not solve problems, says Prime Minister
from Bharatha Malawaraarachchi in Kurunegala
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, criticising the policy statement of the Freedom Alliance, on Friday stressed that those policies would not resolve the country's burning problems.
"It's just like their earlier manifesto carrying only a lot of promises. It has failed to give a definite solution to the country's prolonged crisis, or how to end the war and bring peace," the Premier told an election rally in Kurunegala in support of United National Front (UNF) candidates contesting the forthcoming general election.
He explained that these promises would take the country towards destruction.
"They have no solutions and plans to solve the country's burning issues."
The Premier noted that already the LTTE had rejected certain proposals made by the Alliance on the devolution of power. "The country would be in a severe crisis if that path was followed."
He stressed that it is necessary to follow the current cease-fire Agreement with a view to establishing lasting peace in the country.
"On the other hand, the Alliance's policy statement has failed to present solutions to improve the country's economy. It has presented only a lot of promises.
The country will be forced to borrow heavily if the Alliance is going to fulfil those promises.
If the borrowing goes up, the economy would crash as happened two years back, added the Premier.
The Premier queried about the stance of the Freedom Alliance.
"The Alliance has not yet announced the name of its Prime Ministerial candidate.
The Alliance presented its policy statement one month later of dissolving Parliament."
He recalled that people gave a clear mandate to the UNF in 2001 to rescue the country from devastation. "We signed a Ceasefire Agreement with the LTTE and it helped to create a peaceful atmosphere in the country.
But, Parliament was dissolved at a time when we were negotiating with the LTTE on a political solution to establish a permanent peace in the country."The Premier noted that this sudden election was called by the President at the request of the JVP.
"The general public of this country did not ask for an election. Even the PA did not want this election.
The President dissolved Parliament at the request of the JVP at a time when the country was garnering the benefits of the peaceful atmosphere in the country."
He explained the measures taken by the UNF during the last two years to rebuild the economy from its down-turn.
"We limited expenditure and implemented drastic fiscal measures which helped to improve the economy."
The Premier said his Government took steps to commence development work and implement programs to generate employment from last year. "We have focused attention to develop every sector of the economy and plans have been prepared accordingly."
He disclosed that already, the plans have been prepared and projects had been earmarked to upgrade the industrial, tourism, small and medium industries in the Wayamba Province.
"We have plans to improve the infrastructure facilities in this area to facilitate investors."
Premier Wickremesinghe called upon the people in Kurunegala to vote for the UNF and secure a prosperous future.
"The Alliance does not have plans to develop the country. Only the UNF could improve the economy and bring permanent peace and ensure your future," he said.
Produced by Lake House