Govt.’s debt burden management will bring economic benefits: PM | Daily News

Govt.’s debt burden management will bring economic benefits: PM

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe addressing the gathering.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe addressing the gathering.

The government is now in a position to launch development schemes and bring economic benefits to the people as it has properly managed the debt burden bequeathed by the previous regime, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said.

“The government can enable the country to pay off debts within the lifetime of the present generation without leaving it for the future generations since it is the incumbent government which is better equipped to bring development to the villages and towns. People should return the UNP into power at the forthcoming local government elections as it has proven its ability to usher in development,” he said.

“Youth especially who are present in large numbers today should vote for the UNP if they desired to fulfill their hopes and aspirations,” he added.

The Prime Minister expressed these sentiments addressing a UNP election rally held at the Kuliyapitiya town in support of party candidates contesting the local government elections from the Kurunegala district on February 3.

The Prime Minister who recalled that the UNP lost all successive elections held prior to 2014, said Harin Fernando turned the tide in favour of the UNP by resigning from his Ministerial portfolio and contesting the 2014 Uva Provincial council elections as the UNP Chief Ministerial candidate and winning.

The Prime Minister said this victory proved the prediction he made in 2013 that the UNP would obtain power after 2014. The Prime Minister said he was able to predict the UNP victory because the Rajapaksa regime had driven the country to total economic bankruptcy by going on an unbridled borrowing spree and taking foreign loans one after the other to service the debt.

The Prime Minister said Maithripala Sirisena, who was nominated as the common candidate, won the Presidential election in 2015.

After the General election which followed, they have formed a National Consensus government of the two leading parties.

This government would be in power for another two and a half years and the people should decide to elect the UNP to power at the local elections to filter down development dividends to the rural and urban sectors.

When the government took over power it had three major responsibilities to fulfill. They were to reestablish democracy and rule of law including an independent judiciary, foster reconciliation and develop the economy. There was so much of freedom in the country that certain sections of the media had launched a full-scale onslaught against the UNP in particular by criticizing it at every turn. The more they criticize and attack the UNP, the more people gathered at UNP election rallies. The Prime Minister said his main concern today was whether crowds attending UNP rallies would recede if this section of the media stopped criticizing and attacking the party.

The sound economic management policies adopted by the government had enabled it to manage the country’s debt burden. The government today had the freedom to launch development activities in the country. Steps had been taken to make the Hambantota Port and the Mattala Airport, which were idling as white elephants, to vibrant ventures. As a result, the country would be equipped with two international harbours and two international airport. They would be linked to an expressway network running up to Kandy. Industrial and tourism zones would start on each side of this highway network. There would be an industrial zone each at Kandy, Mawathagama and Bingiriya, the Premier said.

The Prime Minister said a vehicle assembling factory would commence at Kuliyapitiya buildings which were coming up at the site disproving pessimists who said that the vehicle plant would be a non starter. Minister Nawinna was taking steps to open a wildlife zone with an elephant habitat in Galgamuwa. A Medical Faculty and a Teaching Hospital would be located at Kuliyapitiya.

Udubaddawa too would come under the proposed development scheme. Three more national schools would be set up at Wariyapola, Kurunegala and Kuliyapitiya.

The Prime Minister said he would request non-UNPers to refrain from casting their votes to the SLPP (Pohottuwa) candidates because they would not have funds to develop their areas. To UNPers, he would say that the UNP had now truly begun its work to usher in people’s welfare. More had to be done to cater to their hopes and aspirations. There were people awaiting employment opportunities. They would be found employment in development projects in the immediate future, he said.

Those subjected to political victimization would be granted redress in the near future. The question before the UNPers was whether to retain the power they had in their lands or let it go. As such, he said he would request them to vote for the UNP at the forthcoming election to give the UNP the power in the village too.

Ven. Dr. Dambara Amila Thera, Ministers Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, P. Harison and S. B. Nawinne, Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake and Parliamentarian Nalin Bandara also spoke. 


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