Connect with us

News

President denies responsibility for economic crisis

Published

on

President Rajapaksa, flanked by his siblings, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and Minister Chamal Rajapaksa, awarding a title deed to a beneficiary

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said on Saturday (26) that the current economic crisis hadn’t been caused by him or his government. He said so, speaking at a ceremony in Embilipitiya, where Mahaweli Ranbima deeds were distributed among 100,000 Mahaweli settlers.

The President’s Media Division (PMD) quoted the President as having said: “Lack of foreign exchange is a major problem the country is facing at present. One of the main reasons for this is the loss of foreign exchange earnings from tourism and foreign employment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Debts taken by previous governments have to be repaid with interest. These problems did not occur due to a fault of mine or the government.”

The President pointed out that to overcome present challenges, the Opposition, the people and the government must work together. He did not expect any responsible party to carry out disruptive strikes and false propaganda, he added.

The President said he would not deviate from the democratic system that guarantees the freedom and aspirations of the people in governing the country.

The President urged all parties not to abuse the freedom that comes with it.

In keeping with the President’s policy programme, Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour, the Ranbima Deed Programme is being implemented to grant the people the right to a clear title to the land. The government is planning to issue 100,000 deeds this year.

Under the first phase, 35,000 title deeds will be handed over to farmers in 10 Mahaweli zones. The government is planning to complete the distribution of all land deeds of the farmers living in the Mahaweli areas before the end of next year. Having legal ownership of the land gave the owners a number of opportunities including the ability to transfer of inheritance to family members and do transactions with financial institutions keeping the land as a surety, the President said.

The President and the Prime Minister presented deeds to 30 people, symbolising the launch of the Ranbima Deed Programme.

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said the government was also elated to see the people living in the Mahaweli zones receiving deeds, at last.

The Prime Minister said that the so-called revolutionary parties had taken to the streets once the importation of chemical fertilisers was restricted and that the agitations by setting fire to the paddy fields and destroying crops were not done out of love for the farmers but for political gain.

Minister Chamal Rajapaksa said that issuing title deeds alone would not solve the problems of the Mahaweli farming community and that it was the duty of the farming community to cultivate all farmlands in the national interest.

The Minister also said that the government would transform the third generation in the Mahaweli region into entrepreneurs.

State Minister Sirisena Gamlath said that the Rajapaksas had protected not only the lands of farmers in the Mahaweli region but also their dear lives.



Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News

BASL urges President to de-escalate tensions in different parts of country

Published

on

The Bar Association of Sri Lanka has called upon President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to instruct the Defence Secretary, the Commanders of the Tri Forces and the Inspector General of Police to ensure that there is an immediate de-escalation of tensions in different parts of the country – especially at fuel stations – understanding the difficulties faced by the public.”

 “Whilst keeping in mind that the police and armed forces are acting under very trying circumstances, nevertheless it is necessary to give strict instructions to the police and the forces to desist from violence in dealing with the public and to act with utmost restraint”, the BASL has said in a media statement.

 “We also call upon you to ensure that steps are taken under the law to deal with errant officers who have subjected civilians to such violence.”

The BASL is of the view that it is not appropriate for service personnel to be deployed in the present manner in matters which essentially should be managed by the Sri Lanka Police.

 The armed forces should also not be used to disturb or hinder peaceful protests as was seen last week in Galle.

Full text of the BASL letter to the President:

The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) expresses its gravest concerns at the current situation at fuel stations throughout the country and the reports of several incidents of conflicts between civilians and members of the police force and the armed forces at fuel stations. There has been video footage of civilians being assaulted by personnel of the armed forces and the police, the latest being of a civilian being kicked by an Army officer at a fuel station. There have also been situations of the police and Army opening fire into the air to contain the crowd.

Your Excellency is no doubt aware that thousands of desperate civilians are waiting in queues at hundreds of fuel stations in the country. The queues are kilometres long. The tension at the fuel stations have arisen from this desperation for which there is no immediate solution in sight.

The BASL wishes to warn Your Excellency of the imminent dangers this situation could give rise to. The present unrest could result in a conflagration between civilians and members of the armed forces or the police. Some years ago, confrontations between members of the public and the armed forces resulted in the deaths of civilians. Such incidents between the members of the armed forces or the police and the civilians will discredit Sri Lanka’s armed forces and the police.

We call upon Your Excellency to take all necessary steps to give instructions to the Defence Secretary, the Commanders of the Tri Forces and the Inspector General of Police to ensure that there is an immediate de-escalation of the situation in different parts of the country – especially at fuel stations – understanding the difficulties faced by public. Whilst keeping in mind that the police and armed forces are acting under very trying circumstances, nevertheless it is necessary to give strict instructions to the police and the forces to desist from violence in dealing with the public and to act with utmost restraint. We also call upon you to ensure that steps be taken under the law to deal with errant officers who have subjected civilians to such violence.

The Sri Lanka Army and other service personnel must be deployed only in very limited circumstances as contemplated in the Criminal Procedure Code. The BASL is of the view that it is not appropriate for service personnel to be deployed in the present manner in matters which essentially should be managed by the Sri Lanka Police. The Armed Forces should also not be used to disturb or hinder peaceful protests as was seen last week in Galle.

We trust that this will receive the immediate attention of the Government as to do otherwise may otherwise result in unprecedented turmoil and harm.

The BASL believes that the ultimate solution to the situation at fuel stations is to be transparent with the public and to ensure an equitable and effective system of fuel distribution throughout the country.

Continue Reading

News

SC orders AG to submit report on fuel purchases and distribution

Published

on

By A.J.A. Abeynayake

A three-member Supreme Court bench consisting of Justices Vijith Malalgoda, Mahinda Samayawardena and Arjuna Obeysekera yesterday ordered the Attorney General to submit a report on fuel purchases, the distribution thereof and the sectors to be provided with fuel on a priority basis.

The Supreme Court made the order after considering two fundamental rights petitions presented by the Bar Association of Sri Lanka.

The BASL has requested the Supreme Court to direct the Cabinet of Ministers to consult all stakeholders and independent experts to formulate and implement the necessary policies, and to provide concessions in relation to the prices of essential goods and services to the people including LP gas, fuel, electricity, milk powder, medicines and food.

The petitions were filed by the President of the BASL Saliya Pieris PC, Deputy President Anura Meddegoda PC, former Secretary Rajeev Amarasuriya, Treasurer Rajindh Perera and the Assistant Secretary Pasindu Silva.

Continue Reading

News

A/L may be delayed by one month

Published

on

Education Minister Sushil Premajayantha told Parliament yesterday that although it had been scheduled to hold the G.C.E. A/L Examination 2022 in November this year, it could be further delayed by another month.

Responding to a question by MP Shantha Bandara, the Minister said: “The examination should be held at least after three months of releasing the results of the previous A/L exam because the students who need to sit it again should have enough time to prepare,” the Minister said.

Continue Reading

Trending