Monday, March 3, 2008

Video: No pause in anti-LTTE drive: President

President Mahinda Rajapaksa reiterated yesterday that until such time every inch of land is captured and the last terrorist is destroyed, his Government will not cease its liberation operations against the LTTE.

Addressing a mammoth rally intended to apprise the nation on the current political scenario and the future development programmes of the Government (the sixth in a series of rallies to-date), President Rajapaksa pointed out that his Government is a very strong and stable democracy which need not under any circumstances beg before the international community on bended knees.

"We are no longer a poor country thriving on aid and subsidies of the world. Our per capita income has risen to US$ 1,625 now. We need not put our head down to anybody, but we are prepared to listen to constructive criticism and prudent advice of others," the President said.

Nevertheless, he pointed out that certain groups were seeking and striving to stifle the ongoing mega development programmes already under way and in the pipeline, in diverse ways.

Some groups including sections of the media indulge in a slanderous and misleading campaign to deprive the country of international aid and disrupt development. The LTTE too is using all means at their disposal to obtain the benefit from these groups, to their advantage.

Some media institutions have become the mouth-piece of the LTTE. They unjustifiably allege there is no media freedom, despite the freedom available in abundance, as amply illustrated when one reads the weekend newspapers.

"Anyone could attack me personally, but don't betray your Motherland and your country. The bounden duty of all citizens of this land is to be vigilant and act with caution and restraint, until the terrorists are completely destroyed," the President stated.

The President noted that while engaging in the crucial and arduous task of eradicating terrorism, the Government has not in any way abandoned or fallen short of their obligations to develop the country, the rural areas in particular, via the 'Gama Neguma and 'Maga Neguma' programmes.

"Development which was confined only to Colombo and its suburbs in the past, has now shifted to the remotest village," he remarked.

He told the people of Ratnapura that when the funds which they are now seeking earnestly are found, the much-awaited Kalu Ganga project which would be of immense benefit to them, would be a reality. He opined that one in every 20 of the population is employed in the Government service. The Salaries of Government servants have been increased several times.

The Samurdhi subsidy has been enhanced. Privatisation has been stopped. The fertiliser subsidy is still in operation.

"I have directed the Ceylon Electricity Board to refrain from imposing any further tariff hike and burdening the consumers who consume less than 90 units of power.

We are determined to implement the Mahinda Chinthana to the very letter," he noted. "Our aim and ambition is to establish an environment where people of all races and faiths could live in harmony, sans fear or suspicion," the President added.

Ministers Wadiwel Suresh, Hemakumara Nanayakkara, Susil Premajayantha, Mahinda Rathnathilaka, Pavithra Wanniarachchi, John Seneviratna and Maithripala Sirisena also addressed the rally.

Courtesy : Daily News