President launches ‘Deyata Eliya’ electricity project | Daily News
‘Discussion with the Village’

President launches ‘Deyata Eliya’ electricity project

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has emphasized that his government has no intention of hiding the report of the Presidential Commission on the Easter Sunday attack. The President says that there are no negotiations in this matter with any person or party and he does not expect to appease anyone either.

The Easter Sunday attack is a national issue. It should not be made a political theme. The victims of this attack are entitled to a proper and accurate investigation into the cause of their tragedy. Archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith’s agony and his genuine concern regarding this matter is justifiable.The President points out that it is sad and hilarious that the politicians of the former government who were silent at the time of the attack are raising black flags now.

The Easter attack took place in 2019 when the previous government was in power. Disillusioned with the wrong policies of the then government, the people demonstrated their anger to the then government in the cooperative elections as well as in the local government elections in February 2018. The President notes that he didn’t come to power exploiting the Sunday Easter attacks.

For the government in power before 2015, national security was a top priority. Those who came to power in 2015 ignored national security. No matter what human rights allegations are made, the defence policy that was in effect before 2015 is back in operation.

The President emphasized that the government is responsible for the national security of the country. President Rajapaksa says that there is no room for separatist terrorism or Islamic extremism and strongly rejects all baseless allegations.

The President expressed these views during the 13th ‘Discussion with the Village’ programme held at the Maduragama grounds in the Weragala Grama Niladhari Division, Giribawa Divisional Secretariat in the Kurunegala District on Saturday (6).

The ‘Discussion with the Village’ programme commenced on September 25, 2020 from the Badulla district. Thereafter programmes were organized covering the Matale, Ratnapura, Anuradhapura, Ampara, Polonnaruwa, Kalutara, Moneragala, Kegalle, Kandy, Puttalam and Trincomalee districts. The idea behind this programme is for the President to talk to the rural communities living in remote and difficult areas, without intermediaries, about their long-standing unresolved problems and to present them directly to the officials in order to find solutions.

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 objective of the programme is to reach out to the people of the village, understand their problems and find solutions giving considerations to their own suggestions.

The Giribawa Divisional Secretariat is located 27 km away from Galgamuwa town, bordering the Anuradhapura district in the north and the Puttalam district in the West. The distance from the centre of the Giribawa town to Weragala village is three kilometres. Weragala has been identified as the poorest and the most difficult Grama Niladhari Division out of the 35 Grama Niladhari Divisions in the Giribawa Divisional Secretariat.

The villages of Weragala and Maduragama fall under the Weragala Grama Niladhari Division. According to folklore it is the village where Prince Saliya accompanied Asoka Mala and hid, and it came to be known as Hangogama and later Maduragama. The history of Weragala Raja Maha Vihara dates back to King Walagamba’s era. The two villages of Weragala and Maduragama comprising 149 families have a total population of 449. Cultivation of paddy, sesame, maize, cowpea, mung and undu are the main livelihoods of the people.

On the way to the Maduragama ground from the Giribawa public ground to attend the ‘Discussion with the Village’ programme, the President spoke with the people gathered on both sides of the road and inquired into issues and difficulties they face in the area.

The ‘Deyata Eliya’ programme to supply electricity to all rural households without electricity envisioned in the national policy framework ‘Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour’ was launched under the patronage of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in parallel to the ‘Discussion with the Village’ programme at Weragala, Giribawa, on Saturday.

The ‘Deyata Eliya’ programme will provide electricity to all Samurdhi beneficiaries and the low-income families in the Samurdhi waiting list. The Ceylon Electricity Board will provide the connection free of charge and for the wiring of the houses, the Samurdhi Bank plans to facilitate concessionary loans. The government expects to provide electricity to all the identified houses before the end of this year.

Divyanjali Elwaladeniya, a Grade 7 student of U.B. Wanninayake Vidyalaya, Galgamuwa presented her book Kiriatthage Sihinaya to the President.

Another objective of President Rajapaksa is to improve school library facilities in all areas where the ‘Discussion with the Village’ programme is held. The President presented sets of books to schools under the theme ‘A generation empowered with knowledge’. Each school receives 500 books covering a number of disciplines to assist students in their further education.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa presented two laptops donated by the SLT Mobitel to Giribawa Junior College and Gampola Junior College in addition to a television set and internet connection donated by Dialog Axiata to Giribawa Maha Vidyalaya and Gampola Junior College principals.

During the discussion on issues affecting these villages, the people drew the attention of the officials to the potential of the Rajanganaya reservoir and Siyambalangamuwa tank in Usgala to feed the tank network in the area.

It was decided to construct cultivation wells as a pond network to serve cultivation purposes and to provide a water purifier for the Maduragama Community Water Project. The President instructed the officials to take immediate steps to restore all the tanks including Sole Wewa, Sole Pura, Vee Pokuna, Nikawewa, Kaduruwewa and Maha Andarawewa. The Water Supply Ministry has been directed to install 16 nano filters in the Giribawa area to meet the drinking water needs.

The people of the area were also instructed to activate the electric elephant fence as a solution to the wild elephant intrusions.

President Rajapaksa told officials to take steps to address the shortage of medical staff, including nurses and other staff members at the Giribawa rural hospital, Rajanganaya Parakumpura rural hospital and Galgamuwa Base Hospital and to develop infrastructure facilities as well.

It was also decided to expedite the development of a 105 km road network comprising 33 roads in the Giribawa Divisional Secretariat.

President Rajapaksa advised the authorities to address the prevailing shortage of teachers and to develop the infrastructure facilities of the schools including, Pahala Giribawa Maha Vidyalaya, Pothanegama Vijaya Junior College, Ihala Maradankadawala Primary College, Gampola Junior College, Rajanganaya Saliya Asokamala Navodya School, Samudra Maha Vidyalaya and Milewa Maha Vidyalaya.

The Engineering Services Corps of the Army has been entrusted with the task of developing the Giribawa Pradeshiya Sabha grounds and Giribawa MahaVidyalaya playground. They have also been assigned with the construction of other school playgrounds, security fences and in providing sanitary facilities in the area.

President Rajapaksa has instructed to operate a Sisu Sariya (School Transport) bus from Weragala Temple to Pothanegama from today (08).

The problems faced by dairy farmers were evaluated in depth during the discussion. The President emphasized the need to establish a veterinary office with laboratory facilities. The President advised the officials to take measures to expedite the development of grasslands in the area as well.

It was also decided to expedite the provision of essential needs in the area, including electricity, communications and sanitary facilities.

Minister Johnston Fernando, North Western Provincial Governor Raja Collure, State Ministers Dayasiri Jayasekara, D.B. Herath, MPs Anura Priyadharshana Yapa, Charitha Herath, Jayarathna Herath, Shantha Bandara, Gunapala Rathnasekera, Asanka Navaratne, U.K. Sumith Udukumbura, Samanpriya Herath and Manjula Dissanayake and Principal Adviser to the President, Lalith Weeratunga, People’s Representatives of the District, Secretaries to Ministries, Heads of Government Institutions and the Security Forces were present in the ‘Discussion with the Village’ programme held at the Maduragama playground.

Pictures courtesy President's Media Division

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