President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Saturday (Mar 27) said Sri Lanka will face the aftermath of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) without fear and insisted the Government would never succumb to international pressure as it represents a free nation, the President’s Media Division (PMD) said.
The President also said Sri Lanka will not be a victim of big power rivalry in the Indian Ocean.
He observed that the foundation has been laid for the country to move forward while correctly identifying and resolving the problems faced by the people for a long time now. The Government is bound to meet the basic needs of the people. It is not only the responsibility of the Government but also that of the officials as well. This foundation will strengthen the economy in a manner that is most effective for the country and will prioritise addressing the issues of the rural people, he said. “Foreign and local forces who cannot stand this progress and the mafias which support them are misleading the public. The devastation caused in the last five years can repeat if the true progress is left unnoticed and you choose to believe lies and misled yourself. If you give into those lies the damage could be irreversible,” the President said.
The President made these remarks addressing the gathering at the beginning of the 16th ‘Discussion with the Village’ program held at the Derangala Maha Vidyalaya premises in the Kiriwelkele North 3rd Step Grama Niladhari Division, which falls within the limits of Pitabeddara Divisional Secretariat Division in the Matara District.
He reiterated national security was ignored due to the wrong priorities of the previous Government. The Easter Sunday attack was a result of that. War heroes were imprisoned on baseless charges. The country’s sovereignty was compromised by co-sponsoring the Geneva resolution. Attempts were made to destroy the culture and religion associated with our unique heritage by provoking issues in relation to tamed elephants.
The country was thrown into a crisis by entering into agreements such as the MCC Compact and the Eastern Container Terminal Agreement. The President added that these are now being resolved.
President highlighted that those who created and supported all the issues are now protesting against the present Government, adding that several prominent figures from the former Government pretend as if they were never in power. The President observed that although it was not his way to respond to baseless allegations, now he has to answer and expose lies. The ‘Discussion with the Village’ program commenced on 25 September 2020 from Badulla District. Thereafter programs were organised, covering Matale, Ratnapura, Anuradhapura, Ampara, Polonnaruwa, Kalutara, Monaragala, Kegalle, Kandy, Puttalam, Trincomalee, Kurunegala, Galle and Nuwara Eliya districts.
The idea behind this program 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 program is to reach out to the people of the villages, understand their problems and find solutions, giving considerations to their own suggestions.