- Published on Thursday, 24 May 2012 12:59
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South Korea has selected Sri Lanka to implement its Saemaul village development programme form 2012. South Korea has selected Sri Lanka and Myanmar to implement this programme from this year.
Saemaul is a combined word of "Sae" and "Maul". Sae in Korean means new or refreshed and Maul means a village which is the basic unit of community. In other words, Saemaul means a movement of making local community better ways and also village rehabilitated by its own resident’s efforts.
As per the programme, it should be done by community as a whole and its fruits should be enjoyed by the community as a whole. That is the basic concept of Saemaul Undong movement.
The Director General of International Administrative Development Center of Korea Kim Won Jin, and Ambassador of the Republic of Korea in Sri Lanka Jong Moon Choi, met Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa, on Tuesday (22) at his Minsitry to discuss in detail of this programme.
Korean officials said that Saemaul Undong is a mental reform movement to raise "can do" spirit and finally practice by themselves. The movement initially sought to rectify the growing disparity of the standard of living between the nation's urban centres, which were rapidly industrializing, and the small villages, which continued to be mired in poverty. Diligence, self-help and collaboration were the slogans to encourage community members to participate in the development process. Saemaul Undong focused on improving the basic living conditions and environments whereas later projects concentrated on building rural infrastructure and increasing community income. Korea has become a wealthy country thanks to Saemaul Undong.
At the discussion, Minister Basil Rajapaksa said development policy of the government under Mahinda Chinthana is mainly based on rural development and poverty alleviation. He said that Sri Lanka initiated Gama Naguma - village upliftment programme in 2005 aiming to develop infrastructure, livelihood, environment and capacity of the rural people. Eighty percent of the population of Sri Lanka lives in rural areas. He said that the government will develop rural areas with all facilities such as education, transport, water, electricity, communication and thereby avoid unnecessary urbanization experienced in development process of western countries.
Speaking about the Divinaguma national development project the Minister said that this is another initiative of the Mahinda Rajapaksa government to improve the income, nutrition and healthy food habits and food security of the rural people.
The Minister also pointed out that both programmes Gama Naguma and Divi Naguma have been implemented very successfully and big contribution came from these projects for country's economic growth. As a result of government's rural development programmes, he said Sri Lanka became self sufficient in rice production a few years ago and very soon Sri Lanka will become self sufficient in more agriculture products, which are being imported at present.(niz+)