President Mahinda Rajapaksa said he was confident that the people by their verdict at the elections next Saturday will deliver a clear message to the international community that they cannot interfere in the country’s affairs.
The President expressed confidence that the people who love the country, as they have done in the past, will give a fitting reply to the false accusations and malicious attempts against the country on Saturday by their verdict. He expressed confidence that the people will give a resounding mandate to the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) by casting their vote in favour of the party while demonstrating they will not allow anyone to jeopardize the hard won freedom and peace.
President Rajapaksa was addressing an election rally at Vernon Fernando Grounds in Kalutara on Saturday (March 22) in support of the UPFA candidates contesting next week’s Provincial Council elections. The President said that all were keeping a close eye on the verdict of the people at next Saturday’s polls.
He said: “The war was not against the Tamil community. We only fought a brutal terrorist outfit. Some political parties at the time acted as proxies of the LTTE. We defeated this scourge which plagued the country and the people for 30 years giving all communities the opportunity to live in freedom sans fear. It is for this achievement that we are being targeted now by some powerful countries citing human rights issues on the insistence of a section of the Tamil Diaspora.”
President Rajapaksa said these efforts to target Sri Lanka were backed by some petty minded local politicians.
“Those who are unable to win the hearts of the people through their politics are trying to gain political mileage by spreading canards to the international community hoping that they would help them gain power,” he added.
Addressing the massive crowd, the President said the country today was being pressurized by some international elements for defeating terrorism and ushering peace and freedom for the people.
Speaking on the country’s development, he said efforts have been taken to rebuild the devastated infrastructure and other facilities particularly in the North and East and to develop all areas of the country on an equal footing.
President Rajapaksa said the whole country has benefited from the Government’s development programs with people from all areas getting equal facilities and opportunities.
The President said while building new airports, harbours, expressways etc, the Government has also given due priority to the development of the education sector and the achievements in this regard have been unprecedented.
He observed that in keeping with the Government’s policy, education has been diversified -- giving due priority to those branches of learning allied to the professions.
The President said the Government’s initiative to build state-of-the-art technical laboratories in schools and adding science and technological studies to the school curriculum, has brought about a revolution in the education sector.
On the opposition’s criticism of the Government obtaining loans, the President said: “It is true that we launch most development projects from the revenue reserves of our own, but this is not enough, so we need outside loans.
“It is necessary to obtain loans to build a country. We too obtain such loans and assistance and build many things for the development of the country. These are for the benefit of the people”, the President said.