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Sunday, 15 April 2012

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Economic dividends reach remote areas

The Government’s objective is to guarantee that the dividends of the highest economic development that the country has so far achieved, reached the remotest corners of the country, including the North and East, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said.


President Mahinda Rajapaksa in conversation with one-time Minister of Health Siva Obeyesekera at the lunch hosted by Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa to former parliamentarian representing all political parties at the Speaker’s official residence.

Speaking after receiving the Annual Report 2011 of the Central Bank from Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal at the Central Bank held early this week he said the Government had formulated such a mechanism and the massive development projects initiated in the remote areas of the country bear testimony to this initiative.

President Rajapaksa said the country was able to maintain an economic growth rate of 8.3 percent last year and the per capita income increased to US $ 2,835. He said unlike in the past, more than 55 percent of growth is concentrated in the rural areas.

“This historic economic growth could be achieved at a time when a majority of countries were in a crisis situation and mainly due to the fact that the country was able to see the back of terrorism that devastated human resources and also due to the fact that the government was able to put in place many strategic policies. Even during the Humanitarian Operation, the Government had initiated massive development projects to make the country a hub of many sectors. Today most of them are reaching completion,” President Rajapaksa said.

He said although the country eliminated terrorism leading to economic progress, local and international organisations which manipulated the LTTE, are still functioning and are reluctant to see the enormous development that has taken place in the North and East.

“They were blind to the fact that more than Rs 260 billion was utilised in the North and East for infrastructure development. These people including certain politicians make false statements for petty political gain”, he said. The President said the room for foreign intervention in the country was created through terrorism. He said those who attempt to solve our problems suffer due to numerous issues in their own countries. “Reconciliation cannot be made overnight as suggested by outsiders as hatred was spread for three decades by the terrorists. The government has not ceased to make peace achieved at great sacrifice, a permanent one”, he pointed out.

“Suggestions made by outsiders could be short term. We can reach our solutions with mutual understanding”, he said. Meanwhile, in his statement on Easter President Rajapaksa said love and understanding could help much in the process of reconciliation now taking place in our country to take us towards a lasting peace and unity.

“Christians in Sri Lanka join those of their faith the world over to celebrate the festival of Easter that marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ after his crucifixion and death at Calvary.

Jesus Christ, born among humans as the son of God, devoted his years of preaching the message of love to all beings, in a mission considered as one to save mankind from the burden of sin; a burden he took upon himself.

His new message of loving one’s neighbour as oneself had a resonance that cut through all social and national barriers, extending to loving the lowest in society and all beings on earth. Christ’s teachings among a small community have spread throughout the world as the foundation of Christianity, which is among the largest religions in the world. The Christian message of love and understanding can help much in the process of reconciliation now taking place in our country to take us towards a lasting peace and unity. Christ’s message of tolerance and understanding can also help free people and nations from the many conflicts that threaten peace today, and also help overcome the crises faced by society due to the growing belief in opulence. Today’s commemoration of the resurrection of Christ as it strengthens the belief of Christians in Sri Lanka in the divinity of Christ, would help spread his message of love and understanding, and the need for simplicity in life throughout our land”, he said in his message.

 

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