Sri Lanka today is a nation where all communities can live together, enjoying their rights equally, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday. He said his sole objective was one country, one nation and one law.
President Rajapaksa said the government has always aimed to provide equal opportunities and facilities for all, irrespective of differences, and efforts in this regard today were paying rich dividends.
He said Nuwaraeliya district, considered developmentally backward in comparison to other parts of the country, was forging ahead due to the government’s development activities. The President was speaking after inaugurating work on a new district hospital for Nuwaraeliya.
The new hospital adjoining the old one is to be built at Rs 6,689 million.
Eighty percent of the cost is provided as a soft loan by the Dutch government and 15 percent by the People’s Bank.
The proposed new six storey building complex will include state-of-the-art facilities with five operating theatres, patients’ wards, laboratories and canteens among other facilities.
The President addressing the gathering after inaugurating work with the laying of the foundation stone, said the hospital was the fulfillment of another aspiration of the people under the Mahinda Chinthana.
He said the proposed hospital will not only benefit the people of the region but people from other areas as well because Nuwaraeliya was a city often visited by local and foreign tourists.
President Rajapaksa said the estate community which was behind in development in comparison to others was coming forward today due to better facilities and opportunities.
He said the government was committed and continues to engage in many initiatives to uplift the living standards of the estate community.
President Rajapaksa said the government acquired over 100 plantation sector hospitals and developed them with modern facilities. He said many initiatives have been launched to provide housing facilities.
The President said line room accommodation for workers will be completely replaced with proper housing in the near future. President Rajapaksa said the same could be said of education facilities and added that government always considers funds spent on health and education as an investment for the future.
He urged the children of the estate community to pursue higher education for a better future.. The President also addressed the gathering in Tamil.
Ministers Maithripala Sirisena, C B Ratnayake and Navin Dissanayake, Deputy Minister Muttu Sivalingam, Health Ministry Secretary Dr Nihal Jayatilleke and Nuwaraeliya Hospital director Dr Aruna Jayasinghe also spoke. Central Province Chief Minister Sarath Ekanayake, Governor Tikiri Kobbekaduwa, Dutch embassy and Health Ministry officials, staff of the Nuwareliya Hospital and public were present.