Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Govt. ready to take on development challenge – President Rajapaksa

"Today we face the challenge of developing the country. To meet this task we have to utilize new technology and increase production. We have set off on this arduous journey," said President Mahinda Rajapaksa participating in the inaugural ceremony of the Bataatha Agro-Technical Gardens in Hambantota today (07).

On this occasion a well planned vegetable garden and medicinal herb garden were declared opened by the President. This was a concept of Minister of Irrigation and Water Management and Ports and Aviation, Chamal Rajapaksa.

Speaking further President Rajapaksa added that Hambantota was a meeting point in agricultural development and politics.

"The challenge of eradication of poverty was a serious one and the Government was taking steps in this direction. Marching ahead with the development drive while preserving the country's social values is a big responsibility."

President Rajapaksa said that rising prices of goods is a world phenomenon.

"In spite of it the Sri Lankan Government was doing all it could in the way of development. The Government has provided tax concessions to essential consumer items," he said and pointed out that the Government has also made big allocations for University education and expansion of universities.

The President noted that every year the number of Mahapola scholarships has been increased. He alsi mentioned that sports facilities were not confined to the urban areas alone, but taken to the village areas as well. In the health sector too hospitals receive due support from the Government.

He reminded that the massive development programs such as development of ports in South and East, the Airport in Weerawila, the Sourthern Highway and the Negenahira Navodaya or the Reawaking of the East programme were making their headway.

Commenting on the war against terrorism President Rajapaksa remarked that the Government is doing its best to liberate and restore normalcy in those areas and the Government never allowed development work to suffer.

President Rajapaksa remarked that there were attempts by certain quarters to label the Government on Human Rights violations by putting all types of killings including LTTE atrocities and homicides on personal rivalries on the Government and simultaneously to whitewash the crimes against humanity committed by the LTTE.

The President requested all parties to unite in the name of the nation, shedding political differences to bring peace to the motherland and relief to the masses.