Govt will feel people's pulse through polls - President
Colombo: President Mahinda Rajapaksa said last night that it
was imperative for the Government to know the pulse of the people by
Participating in the Janapathi Janahamuwa (Meet the President) live
programme on national television, President Rajapaksa said such
elections were an ideal opportunity to re-assess the people's mandate.
Asked by the Rupavahini interviewer whether the PC elections could be
interpreted as a costly and unnecessary exercise in the present
environment, the President said: "We want to gauge the reactions of the
people to our policies and programmes.
Do the people support the war? Do they approve our development
programmes ? We want to know. It is a democratic exercise."
The President said it was ironic that when an election is not held
for a number of years the Opposition calls him a dictator.
Now when several elections are being held, they call it a waste of
money. But holding elections is a feature of a vibrant democracy.
The Government will go ahead with all development projects islandwide
despite the conflict in the North, President Rajapaksa said.
He said several massive development projects were underway in various
parts of the island including the newly liberated East.
Interacting with the people of Kebithigollewa, Medirigiriya, Kalawana
and Dedigama via satellite, the President said the wave of development
was apparent everywhere. From the paving of rural roads to power
projects such as Upper Kotmale and Kerawalapitiya to the Hambantota port
project, the Government has embarked on a massive development drive.
He recalled that when he became the President, many opposition
politicians said no foreign country would come forward to grant funds to
However, these allegations have been proved baseless as there is an
uninterrupted flow of foreign funds to the country for development
projects. Such funds were essential to develop the country as the
Treasury could not fund every project.
"But we did not resort to privatisation to earn funds. We inherited
an empty Treasury although most assets had been privatised. We
rejuvenated State enterprises and made them profitable."
He said the Government would continue the anti-terror drive until the
North too is liberated and just as the Eastern elections were held,
democracy would be established in the North too. Development would not
be curtailed due to the conflict.
The President issued instructions to Ministers and officials to
resolve the grievances expressed by the residents of the four areas.