Development, welfare will not be curtailed - President
COLOMBO: Development and welfare measures will not be
curtailed in spite of the conflict and the Government is working
according to a plan to bring prosperity, President Mahinda Rajapaksa
“We will see the fruits of our labour in due course. We must
strengthen the Government to hasten this victory. Placing the Government
in difficulty at this juncture is a betrayal of the masses.
It amounts to handing over the country to anti-national forces.
People must be made aware of these sinister moves,” President Rajapaksa
told a ceremony organised to mark the Sri Lanka Freedom Party’s 56th
anniversary at the BMICH, Colombo.
President addressing the gathering.
The President noted that the Eastern Resurgence programme was already
underway after the region was liberated.
He said they have not only liberated the East in toto from the
terrorists, but to date also captured Silavathura off Mannar. Despite
the ongoing conflict, they are continuing all development projects.
A new agricultural drive will start tomorrow. All major development
programmes were underway and there is no restriction on granting
Government jobs. No welfare and subsidy programmes will be truncated.
“We have not issued circulars to stop giving jobs to anyone. We have
also not pruned any subsidies offered to the people. We have actually
It is in this backdrop that some politicians who betray our
Motherland are seeking to deprive the country of financial aid from the
international community,” he said.
He said the same persons campaigning against international aid to Sri
lanka had deprived the country of billions of rupees through a tax
amnesty for the wealthy. The Government would not have had to seek US$
500 million if these funds were available.
He pointed out that the revelations of the COPE reports indicate the
corruption of the UNP regime during their two year tenure and not of the
present Government. Sixteen members in the probing committee are from
“We wish to reveal the truth to eradicate corruption. The media too
should expose them to our supporters. However there is a way, a
formality to be adopted in a democratic manner,” he said.
The President said that he was aware of the rising costs of living,
and using all means at their disposal to lower it, despite the
uncontrollable global market factors. The Government was losing billions
of rupees as a result of the removal of VAT on essential items.
Referring to the SLFP, he said although certain individuals may leave
the party and end-up as failed orphans, as in the past, the party which
feels the pulse of the common man, will still stay strong and move
President Rajapaksa observed that the SLFP which originated from the
ideals of the late Prime Minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, has grown and
percolated itself to provide refuge to all the communities of the
nation, despite the daunting challenges, obstacles and conspiracies
posed by the reactionary forces from time to time.
He pointed out that in the past too, many leaders and stalwarts of
the party such as C.P. de Silva and Mahanama Samaraweera had crossed
over. The late S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike was assassinated. Nevertheless, the
SLFP did not fall. It consistently grew and became a tower of strength,
a formidable force to reckon with.
“The SLFP is not the heritage of the Bandaranaikes, the Rajapaksas or
of any one individual. Anyone hailing even from the village if he or she
possesses the skill, ingenuity, commitment and the patience, then that
person could qualify to sit on the chair which I occupy now,” the
He maintained that the SLFP has steadfastly evolved into a victorious
party mainly due to its sense of discipline. They had consistently
achieved success with the efforts of many in synergy, including the 42
from the Opposition who had joined them, with the full authorisation of
the Cabinet, the SLFP Central Committee and the party members.
General Secretary of the SLFP and Minister Maithripala Sirisena,
J.R.P. Suriyapperuma and Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle also spoke.
COLOMBO: President Mahinda Rajapaksa launched the SLFP Website “www.srilankafreedomparty.org”.
The website contains the history of the SLFP and other information.
President Rajapaksa also re-launched the new-look Dinakara, the
party’s official newspaper.