He made these remarks participating in the Sabaragamuwa Province Action Committee of the Grama Shakthi People’s Movement held at the Ratnapura Provincial Council Auditorium, last Wends day (25th). It is a project implemented in accordance with a concept of President Maithripala Sirisena to show the path to the people to escape the trap of dependency and to achieve self-sufficiency in partnership with the private sector. This project is successfully operating in the Divisional Secretariat level targeting the underprivileged people.
The meeting was held with the participation of the political authorities of the area and public servants and it reviewed the progress of the implementation of the programme in the Province and regarding future plans. During the discussion, special attention was paid to the issues faced by the people in the area and to provide solutions for those issues.
President Sirisena said that funds will be allocated for the construction of a 24-hour trade park comprised of stalls in the Kegalle town and further said that Rs. 25 million will be released in the next week as the first phase and the total cost for this project is Rs. 65 million. The President also noted that funds will be released speedily to implement the proposals put forward for development activities in the Ratnapura District.
During this meeting, special attention was paid to the problems faced by the people engaged in the Kithul industry of the area as they lack proper market for their Kithul based products, and the President directly intervened at the same time to provide solutions for those issues. For the benefit of them a MoU was signed between the Kudawa Sinharaja Tourism Services and Kithul Products Grama Shakthi People’s Samitiya and the Cargills (Ceylon) PLC.
Attention was also focused on the problems faced by the fruit farmers in the district, and discussed regarding the possibility of using modern technology to preserve fruits and to implement a process to provide those products to the local as well as international market with the assistance of the private sector. The President presented the first quarter of the allowances to the Secretaries of Ratnapura and Kegalla Districts.
Minister Ranjith Siyabalapitiya, Thalatha Athukorala, Kabir Hashim, State Minister Champika Premadasa, Deputy Ministers Sarathi Dushmantha Mithrapala, Dunesh Gankanda, Karunarathna Paranawithana, Governor of Sabaragamuwa Niluka Ekanayake, People’s representatives of the area, including Dr Thusitha Wijemanne, Sujith Sanjaya Perera, Sandith Samarasinghe, Tharaka Balasuriya, District Secretaries and public servants participated in this event.
Later, the President made an observational visit to the Ganegama production village where the Grama Shakthi peoples movement is being conducted and the President met with a cross section of the people to find out the problems of those people and made efforts to find solutions to them.
It is significant that a Head of State came to meet the people of this village after a lapse of 33 years ago and they warmly welcomed the President when he arrived at the village.
The President was apprised by the people regarding many issues faced by them, including problems related to the infrastructure facilities, drinking water facilities, highways, transport and self employment opportunities, and the President instructed relevant Ministers and officials regarding the steps that should be taken to provide solutions for these issues.
The President also received the Rural Development Plan, which identified and analyzed the development issues faced by the people of the area.
Economic Development Officers, Grama Niladharis, Samurdhi Development Officers and Agricultural Development Officers were also present at the meeting and they presented proposals regarding the development projects that should be implemented in the area.