‘Opposition misuses media to conceal development projects from the public’ | Daily News


‘Opposition misuses media to conceal development projects from the public’

UNP Parliamentarian S.M. Marikkar said that the Opposition is using various types of media to spread racist and extremist views to prevent the public from getting to know about the highly successful development programmes carried out by the government.

“Large scale development drive at a cost of Rs.48,000 million is underway across the country to reflect the government’s commitment for the betterment of the country and its people despite the bomb blasts, loss of power for several months, anti-government campaigns and many other challenges. But, the people do not know about them as our propaganda is very limited,” MP S.M. Marikkar said.

He said islandwide rural roads, access roads to highways, culverts and bridges are being constructed and reconstructed spending nearly Rs.10,000 million. New Kelani Bridge with necessary interchanges and access roads, the extension of Southern Expressway from Matara to Kataragama and Central Expressway are being constructed.

“Salary increment of Rs.10,000 for public servants, relief package worth Rs.20,000 for pregnant mothers and salary increment for war heroes were forgotten to all as our marketing efforts are very weak. There were a number of cutouts, posters displayed everywhere during the previous regime, but as we do not give publicity, the public is unaware of our projects. Development projects are not given publicity since the ‘media mafia’ is run by certain people in the Opposition. What happens is, people’s attention is drawn to the propaganda programmes of the Opposition,” he said.

Addressing a media briefing held in Colombo, the MP further said that payments for the final phase of the extension of the Southern Expressway were delayed as a result of the postponement of the Supplementary Estimate presented to Parliament on October 26 by the previous 52-day government. However, the Chinese company carried out the construction agreed to continue the construction after having discussed with the Road Development Authority (RDA).

He said that the benefits received by the country and its people after passing the 19th Amendment should not be demeaned. The introduction of RTI and the establishment of media freedom are vital among them. No journalist was murdered, abducted and harassed during the past four and a half years. We should not let anyone turn back all these victories achieved by us,” he added.

“Today the Opposition is engaged in spreading racist ideas targeting the forthcoming Presidential Election and trying to mislead people that Presidency can be won solely with the Sinhala Buddhist votes. They are also trying to pledge the minorities that only the future-elected government can assure their safety. These people misuse the media freedom assured by us to spread racism and extremism among the people. We should not allow them to do that,” he said.

He further said that mixed education system must be established in Sri Lanka to develop mutual confidence, understand and peace among the communities. If Muslim children are not admitted to Sinhala schools, they will approach Ministers and request for new Muslim schools. The Education Ministry should monitor and regulate Madrasas while Sri Lanka Standard Institution should regulate the issuance of Halal certificate. Then, there will be no clashes among the people.

“We have not signed any agreement with the US and we challenge anyone to prove it,” the MP said.

Out of 225 members of Parliament not even half of them will elect to Parliament through the Next General election. We will win the Presidential election without support of any coalition with any party. We will then call for the General election and win more than 135 seats in Parliament,” he added.


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