Security, welfare and development
The UPFA Government headed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and with
rapid progress achieved under the Mahinda Chinthana has today
strengthened its power with the massive support from the people. It has
been strengthened to such a degree there seems to be no opposition in
the South now, Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena says.
Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena
Excerpts of the Interview:
Q: It is only a few days more for the Southern Provincial Council
Elections and how would you predict the results?
A: I am confident that the UPFA would secure a tremendous victory in
all three provinces of the South; Matara, Galle and Hambantota. There is
no doubt about it.
We target an overall majority of 500,000 votes from the province.
Q: How would you view the statements by some Ministers that the
Government is seeking a special mandate from the people in the South at
this Provincial Council election?
A: We have a firm belief that the Southerners are much more rooted
with the Government compared to other provinces. At the 2005
Presidential Election they voted Mahinda Rajapaksa into power with a
majority of 300,000 votes with a conviction that he would liberate this
country from terrorism. So he has fulfilled the promise.
In return all southerners respect this great leader.
Q: What would the results of this election convey to the
A: We can show the whole world that the people are ready to extend
co-operation to their leader even after four years since he was elected
Popularity of political leaders fades gradually after sometime but it
is not so with President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
He is gaining more popularity with his victory at the war.
However, there is a conspiration against him and the Government at
international level. The hopes of those countries who supported the LTTE
at the war were thrashed with the defeat of the LTTE. So these countries
are trying out various ways to destabilize this country.
That is the reason why they are crying over human rights violations
and want to convict us in international war tribunals. However, at the
Southern Provincial Council election, people would show the conspirators
that people are with the Government.
Q: There is an allegation by the Opposition that UPFA candidates are
indisciplined and misbehaving. Is there any truth in it?
A: I totally reject that allegation, there may be some personal
problems among certain candidates mainly due to this manapa system of
voting but solutions to such incidents have been found under direct
intervention of the President.
Q: How do you judge the election campaign of the Opposition?
A: Their election campaign in the South is almost negative and
inactive. We had people over 40,000 attending a UPFA rally in Hakmana
recently and at every electorate the UPFA candidates are in a strong
position with mass support. On the other hand the Opposition is now in a
A newspaper had stated that there is no visible development taking
place in the south quoting a former powerful Minister who is now with
Within the past three months we have invited all media organizations
to the south to show them the development activities and they well know
about the real situation. Now 60 per cent of work in the Hambantota
International Harbour has been completed and 550 metres of its break
water has been completed.
Highway projects, roads, administrative units, auditoriums, water
supply projects are taking place in the Hambantota district which had
been considered the least developed district in the south earlier. In
the Matara District, a major road network has completed and 40 percent
of work on the new hospital at Kotawila is nearing completion. The
Hakmana new town development project was recently inaugurated by the
The development strategy now taking place in Deniyaya and Dikwella
under the Gama Neguma and Maga Neguma programs is noteworthy.
Speedy development is now taking place and one should view its
results without prejudices, free from petty political agendas.
Security welfare and development are the key areas which no other
Government elected to power could accomplish simultaneously.