Sunday, February 08, 2009

We have no ambition to please foreign powers and protect our positions - President Mahinda Rajapaksa

President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that his government had no intention of privatizing any public enterprises.

"My government had not resorted to privatizing any government ventures in the past, and there are no plans of doing so even in the future", the President told a well attended meeting of teachers, bank employees and lawyers from Wayamba (North Western Province) at the Kandy Janadhipathi Mandhiraya on Friday afternoon.

He allayed fears of privatization of state-owned enterprises and blamed the previous UNP administration for not recruiting personnel to the public service.

The President said that not a single person was recruited to the public service during the UNP regime. "We have found employment for several thousands and increased the number of public sector cadres to approximately 1.2 million".

"We have not ignored the public service. Nor have we neglected it. Public servants must be given due regard and recognition and their services must be appreciated", he noted.

"We have placed an abundance of confidence on public servants that they will dedicate towards the protection and development of our country. We invite the public sector to contribute their might to the progress and protection of the country and assure our responsibility to safeguard their interests. We are all committed to ensure a bright and prosperous future for our children", President Rajapaksa said.

Those in the public service being educated and intelligent have already understood the importance of all barriers blocking the path to development and also the importance of the integrity of our motherland and the impediments to the unity of the nation, he said.

The President told the meeting that the very same factors that betrayed democracy in the country are now crying for democracy.

He said the Muslims in their thousands were driven from the North and the East by the terrorists. Those in the camps of Puttalam are the victims forced out from the North. The agreement entered into with the LTTE by Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe betrayed not only democracy but also the rights of the people who lived in the region for generations.

While the Sinhala and Muslim communities lost their traditional abodes, the people who laid claim for their motherland were compelled to pay a tax to the terrorists to move about. The people who have suffered enough under the terror rule of the LTTE are desperately pleading to be rescued from the clutches of the terrorists. The people say they are even ready to go hungry if their freedom to live safely is restored, the President noted.

"The expectations of the innocent people are now realizing. We have been able to cage the terrorists to a very limited area. With the sacrifice of our heroic security forces, we will be able to witness the end of terrorism before long".

Some political leaders did not take the threat of terrorism so seriously. They were not keen to rid the country of terrorism. Such leaders did not give priority to their motherland. They could not even think that they should have a country first to do politics. Those leaders were concerned about safeguarding their positions. Their ambition was to protect their positions by pleasing foreign powers, he asserted.

"To us it is different. Our primary concern is the motherland. In our politics our No. 1 priority is the country. Second and third interests are also the country. Every decision is taken for the sake of the country and the people. We have no ambition to please the foreign powers and protect our positions. There is no ulterior motive of clinging to power. We do not want to go abroad leaving our motherland. We want to go back to the village and share the rural life with our villagers", the President stressed.

"Therefore, we must develop the country and allow our future generations to live a safe and contended life", the President noted.

The President referred to some of the development projects already completed and some which are in progress.

He said a financial allocation was granted by the World Bank towards the development of roads in Kegalle district, which he had observed during a recent visit to the area.

Many concrete roadways have been completed in rural Sri Lanka. Some are completed while some others are nearing completion without any foreign assistance, the President said.

He said the victory for UPFA at the Central and North Western Provincial election will be a support to the development process and the eradication of terrorism.

Ministers S. B. Nawinna, Nimal Siripala de Silva and Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, Prof. G. L. Peiris also addressed the meeting. Minister Athauda Seneviratne, Governor (NWP) Tissa R. Balalle and Chief Minister (NCP) Bertie Premalal Dissanayake were also present.

Source :The Island



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