Thursday, 6 March 2014 00:55
Stresses on participatory development
Although a small group in Sri Lanka has connived with some foreign forces to spread hatred against Sri Lanka people have given moral strength to President Mahinda Rajapaksa to continue undeterred for ensuring the country’s victory in the economic sphere after having secured peace, making it possible for all citizens of every faith and ethnicity to move about freely without fear and suspicion.
Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa made this observation when he addressed a series of meeting held at the Vernon Fernando Stadium Kalutara, Samanala Stadium Galle, Sanath Jayasuriya Stadium Matara and the Hambantota Municipal Playground on 3 and 4 March to brief the public on the National Budget 2014 for National Development. Nearly 7,000 people attended each of these meeting which were held under the theme, “Sustainable Development through participatory Participation”.
This was highest number of people seen at any meeting held in the four districts in recent years.
The briefing will cover 14 districts in order to make the public aware of the need to reach development targets for building a new Sri Lanka and make her a middle-income country among nations with the participation of community based organization leaders, people’s representatives and government officials to in accordance with the Mahinda Chinthana vision of improving the lot of the individual, family, village and province.
The concept is based on Gama Neguma (village development), Pura Neguma (town development and Palath Neguma (provincial development ) which will be extended from house to house and village to village where each village will undertake one task. The program will cover improving sanitary facilities in rural schools, raising living standards, re-cultivating fallow paddy lands and repairing small irrigation canals, building weekly fairs, maternity clinics and bus halts.
Speaking further Minister Rajapaksa said that the objective of the Ministry-funded projects was not only the physical and material development of the people but also spiritual progress of individuals and communities. He added that until now the National Budget was considered a secret document. But today the situation has changed. Today its funds have been allocated not only to the Health, Education and Highways Ministries but also to the Economic Development Ministry which distributed them in all 160 electorates with the participation of government officials and people’s representatives.
A country’s independence and sovereignty can be ensured only through economic security and therefore the Government’s goal is to achieve sustainable development through raising the economic level of the island’s 36,000 villages since the British had destroyed the country’s self-sufficient economy after suppressing the Uva-Wellassa uprising, according to the Minister.
Among others who attended the meetings were Kalutara Government Agent UTA Jayalal, Galle GA Ravindra Hewawitharana, Matara GA E.A.C. Vidanagamaachchi, Hambantota GA R.C. De Zoysa, Ministers Mahinda Samarasinghe, Kumara Welgama, Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, Piyasena Gamage, Gunaratne Weerakoon, Mahinda Yapa Abeyewardena and Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena; Deputy Ministers Mahinda Amaraweera, Rohitha Abeygunawardena, Nishantha Muthuhettigama, Hemal Gunasekera, Chandrasiri Gajadheera, Sanath Jayasuriya, Nirupama Rajapaksa and Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody.