Tainted officials will be removed - President | Daily News

Tainted officials will be removed - President

Mission to eliminate corruption, inefficiency in public sector

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said that he would not hesitate to remove tainted officials who stand in the way of his endeavour to eliminate corruption and inefficiency in the Government sector, especially in the Customs .

President Rajapaksa made these remarks participating in the seventh of the series of programme “Discussion with the Village” in Yattapatha, Walallawita in the Kalutara district on Saturday.

“Eliminating inefficiency in the public service is one of the requests of the people. Several measures have been taken to eradicate corruption and inefficiency at Customs, for example. I am determined to do away with malpractices in such institutions even by removing officials who stand in the way to their success.

“There are good officials at every government institution. They too are calling for an efficient public service free of corruption. The public servants are maintained with public money. The people have given me a Parliament with 150 Members because they have faith that I perform my role well,” he said.

President Rajapaksa focusing on the ongoing debate concerning the East Container Terminal (ETC) at the Colombo Port pointed out that the previous Government had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with India on the subject.

“An agreement signed between two states cannot be terminated arbitrarily. The stance of the Government on the MCC agreement which had been accepted by the previous administration was explained to the authorities of the US government. No asset would be given to another country in a manner that would compromise the sovereignty of the nation when entering into agreements,” he explained.

During his first visit to India after assuming Presidency the policy of the Government on the agreement on the ETC was explained to the Indian Prime Minister Modi at a lengthy discussion.

Elaborating on the role of the East Container Terminal, the President pointed out that the main source of revenue of the Terminal is re-export activities. “India accounts for 66 per cent of re-exports. Therefore, it is important to understand the nature of the business to be carried out through the development of the Terminal so that next steps could be meticulously planned,” he said.

“Under the investment project, the administration of the terminal and 51 per cent of the shares will be owned by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority. Several Indian, Japanese and Sri Lankan companies have come forward to invest in the remaining 49 per cent,” he added.

President said that the people elected him with great expectations and that it was not his way to make noises instead of working. The remaining four years will also be dedicated to fulfilling the aspirations of the people, the President emphasized. Arriving at the Upasena playground in Yattapatha to attend the 7th “Discussion with the Village” programme President listened to the grievances of the people who were present at the venue. The President agreed to fulfil the request for development of Upasena playground from the next day.

President listened to the concerns raised by the people and said that the issuance of land deeds should be expedited after conducting proper surveys.

“There could be people without any income who live or cultivate a certain land for a long time. Such instances should be carefully studied and action must be taken to grant ownership of lands to them. Issuance of deeds for lands belonging to the Land Reforms Commission should be completed within the next six months,” the President said, instructing officials.Carpeting of the 4.2 km long stretch of Wawella Nehirihena on the Nehirihena-Yattapatha road was also commenced under the patronage of the President.

The “Discussion with the Village” programme commenced on September 25, 2020 from Badulla district. Subsequent programmes were held covering the districts of Matale, Ratnapura, Anuradhapura, Ampara and Polonnaruwa. The President expects to meet the people in remote and difficult areas outside the city and draw the attention of the officials to inquire into the hardships faced by the villagers and find solutions rapidly.

Problems that can be solved on the spot are instantly addressed. The rest which takes time to deal with are noted down to find solutions later.

The aim of the Discussion with the Village programme is to reach out to the villagers, understand their difficulties and find solutions considering their own suggestions as well. President said that he would visit a remote village every Saturday for this purpose.Rules and regulations have been formulated for the benefit of the people.

Therefore, the President emphasized the need to implement rules and regulations with the intention of making life easier for the people.President handed over the SMART Classroom donated by Mobitel to the Yattapatha Primary School and the television set with the long-term internet connection by Dialog to the Principal of the school.It was also decided to develop Pelawatta - Baduraliya, Neluwa - Baduraliya and several rural byroads.