President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday (17) urged politicians and state officials to work in unison to fulfill public expectations to ensure their social and economic well being.
He told them to consider public service as equal to serving God and urged them to give their best when serving the masses.
The President made these observations addressing the Vavuniya and Mannar District Development Committee meeting at the District Secretariat in Vavuniya.
The progress of development activities, needs and future plans were discussed at length with the main areas of focus being education, agriculture, health, irrigation, water resources management, land and electricity.
Addressing officials, President Rajapaksa said the North which was ravaged due to terrorism which prevailed for decades, had made vast strides in economic and social development in a short span of three years. The President said the North was ahead in health, fisheries, roads and education when compared to other parts of the country.
Officials pointed out that when comparing recent education examination results, Vavuniya district emerged as the second best in the island.
President Rajapaksa told state officials to work in unity, treat all equally and support government endeavours to take the North to greater heights.
The President said it was the responsibility of politicians and state officials to make best use of public funds for development activities.
President Rajapaksa also inquired from officials the state of development activities taking place in the two districts and plans for the future.
He also brought up various complaints he had received from the public and listened to the grievances and issues highlighted by politicians and officials.
Regarding an issue which came up on lack of land to house returning IDPs from other provinces, the President directed officials to take prompt action to solve the issue.
When an official highlighted the increase in kidney disease in the North due to unhygienic water, President Rajapaksa said the government plans to provide small water treatment plants capable of purifying 200 litres of water within an hour to affected villages shortly.
When a question was raised on the issue of people losing property due to the construction of irrigation schemes, the President told officials to provide them alternative land and other facilities without delay.
He also told officials to speed up the work to construct a super market and a coastal park in Mannar town which is stalled due to various issues.
The President told officials to speed up matters on land allocation to build the proposed garment factory and other factories in the Mannar area.
He also drew the attention of officials on the importance of speeding up the ongoing work to construct new schools and renovate dilapidated ones in the two districts
He also told them to expedite work in constructing a central bus stand and a supermarket in Vavuniya North.
President Rajapaksa said he received complaints from the public that there is a big difference in the price of essential goods in Vavuniya town and the villages where prices were much higher.
The President urged cooperative officials to look in to the matter and provide an immediate solution to alleviate the anomaly.
The meeting was attended by ministers, ministry Secretaries, Government Agents of Mannar and Vavuniya, state officials and local political representatives