|Govt will feel people's pulse through polls – President|
|Wednesday, 20 August 2008|
Colombo: President Mahinda Rajapaksa said last night that it was imperative for the Government to know the pulse of the people by holding elections.
Participating in the Janapathi Janahamuwa (Meet the President) live programme on national television, President Rajapaksa said such elections were an ideal opportunity to re-assess the people's mandate. Asked by the Rupavahini interviewer whether the PC elections could be interpreted as a costly and unnecessary exercise in the present environment, the President said: "We want to gauge the reactions of the people to our policies and programmes.
Do the people support the war? Do they approve our development programmes? We want to know. It is a democratic exercise."
The President said it was ironic that when an election is not held for a number of years the Opposition calls him a dictator.
Now when several elections are being held, they call it a waste of money. But holding elections is a feature of a vibrant democracy.
The Government will go ahead with all development projects islandwide despite the conflict in the North, President Rajapaksa said.
Sri Lanka’s President H.E. Mahinda Rajapaksa
He said several massive development projects were underway in various parts of the island including the newly liberated East.
Interacting with the people of Kebithigollewa, Medirigiriya, Kalawana and Dedigama via satellite, the President said the wave of development was apparent everywhere. From the paving of rural roads to power projects such as Upper Kotmale and Kerawalapitiya to the Hambantota port project, the Government has embarked on a massive development drive.
He recalled that when he became the President, many opposition politicians said no foreign country would come forward to grant funds to Sri Lanka.
However, these allegations have been proved baseless as there is an uninterrupted flow of foreign funds to the country for development projects. Such funds were essential to develop the country as the Treasury could not fund every project.
"But we did not resort to privatisation to earn funds. We inherited an empty Treasury although most assets had been privatised. We rejuvenated State enterprises and made them profitable."
He said the Government would continue the anti-terror drive until the North too is liberated and just as the Eastern elections were held, democracy would be established in the North too. Development would not be curtailed due to the conflict.
The President issued instructions to Ministers and officials to resolve the grievances expressed by the residents of the four areas.
(Courtesy : Daily News )
|Last Updated ( Monday, 09 March 2009 )|
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