Leave nation to intellectuals, not family – Patali | Daily News


Leave nation to intellectuals, not family – Patali

Leaving the country’s decision-making process to an intellectual majority will serve the future interests of the country and its people better without allowing a family coterie to decide the country’s fate at their breakfast table, Megapolis and Western Development Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said.

The Minister was speaking to the news media on Sunday during an inspection tour of development activities underway around the Beira Lake.

He said the Beira Lake area was a major commercial centre during the British and Dutch eras. This area which later became an import and export centre after the advent of the railways had become neglected. Now they had redeveloped the area by erecting a footpath on one side parallel to D.R. Wijewardene Mawatha with World Bank aid. They planned to build a six-and-a-half metre jogging track nearly six kilometres in length around the entire lake by mid next year. Almost half the track has been completed. This would enable people to walk round the circumference of the lake next year.

The Minister said the government had invested Rs. 600 million to clear the layer of silt that had formed under the water body. The Colombo Municipal Council had been ordered to remove the sewage lines discharging effluence to the Beira Lake and a large number of families resident in the Beira Lake precincts had been evacuated to other areas by providing alternative housing facilities. Work on the main multi-modal transport centre around D. R. Wijewardene Mawatha would commence next year with the removal of Manning Market to another location.

The tourism industry had also begun improving with the opening of the boat service. Nearly 1,500 to 2,000 people were patronising the boat service during weekends. The Beira Lake also attracts various species of migratory birds. This proved that the lake has once again become a source of oxygen, he said.

The Ministry plans to build an underground footpath linking Wijewardene Mawatha with Fort Railway Station and other office complexes in Fort. Under the second stage of the programme, there are plans to start a boat service from the Parliament complex to Wellawatte. The only obstruction were the bridges along the waterways. As such, low-roof boats would be deployed initially under this boat service. The St. Sebastian Pump House will prevent flooding in Colombo during the rains. It would also help to fill the canal route with water during dry seasons, Minister Ranawaka said.

He said history had proved that internal crises within political parties would ultimately result in the victory of the party at the hustings. In 1988, there was a crisis in the UNP in naming the Presidential candidate. Ultimately, R. Premadasa came to the fore and won the election.

Then there was a crisis in the SLFP between Chandrika Bandaranaike, Anura Bandaranaike and Sirimavo Bandaranaike. A section left the party but ultimately Chandrika Bandaranaike came forward and won. Then there was a clash in the SLFP in 2005 where there was uncertainty about nominating Mahinda Rajapaksa, he said.

Some of the SLFPers even opted out without helping their candidate, but ultimately Mahinda Rajapaksa emerged victorious. This showed that internal crises within a political party would ultimately result in its victory at the elections, the Minister said.

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