Will create a safe country - Gotabaya
Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Presidential Candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa, undertaking the responsibility to create a safe country, said that arrested War Heroes would be freed immediately after his victory.
He was speaking at the SLPP maiden election rally at Salgado Grounds in Anuradhapura.
“The War Heroes saved the country. There was a time when War Heroes were looked down upon as ‘military men, army men, and navy men’ etc. We changed this perception and made them War Heroes. We eliminated terrorism. You do your duty on November 16 and thereafter I will undertake my duty to create a safe country,” he said.
The SLPP candidate also thanked the SLFP for its decision to support him, and also thanked the large crowd gathered to extend their support to him at the maiden rally. Rajapaksa pledged to write off the micro-finance loans and all loans of the farmers in a bid to make them stronger again. He also undertook to give special attention towards food security in the country.
He also pledged to renovate irrigational tanks and small tanks as a solution to the water scarcity and start that project from Anuradhapura.
The SLPP candidate also undertook to pay all the compensation, the government had not paid for agriculture damages due to floods and droughts, within six months.
He also guaranteed Rs 52 certified price for one kilogramme of paddy. Observing that water resources in the area had been contaminated with agro-chemicals, Rajapaksa undertook to provide clean drinking water to every house.
“Anuradhapura is a centre point of irrigation and agriculture of the country. We had a local culture centering the concept of ‘village, temple and tanks’. One third of the population of the country still depends on agriculture. The advisors to the Government are unable to understand this basic fact. That is why they give second class treatment to agriculture. It was during the Mahinda Rajapaksa era that the farmers were given a special place. The fertilizer subsidy, low interest rate agricultural loans and certified price for paddy were given during that period. Sri Lanka became self-sufficient in rice and maize. However, the agriculture sector has collapsed today,” he noted.
He also pledged to implement an insurance scheme to pay compensation for agricultural damages due to elephant encroachments.
Addressing the crowd, Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa stressed the Government, which did nothing over the past few years but taking revenge from political opponents, must be sent home.
He pointed out the attempt to arrest Gotabaya Rajapaksa failed due to the “correct decision” of the court.
“We are confident of the SLPP victory. We will expedite the Moragahakanda project. The bankrupt government is trying to sell the national assets of the country. The UNP should take the responsibility for ruining the country. The UNP’s Deputy Leader too cannot shun this responsibility,” he said.