President Gotabaya Rajapaksa toured Ampara district today (17) in support of the candidates of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) contesting the forthcoming General Election.
In Padiyathalawa, upon a request by the residents, the President instructed the Secretary to the Ministry of Roads Development to expand the existing road runs through Padiyathalawa town into a 4-lane road.
In response to the directive issued by the President, Secretary to the Ministry of Water Supplies Dr. Priyath Bandu Wickrama said immediate measures will be taken to supply water from Ambakan Oya Project in order to resolve the issue of water scarcity in the villages of Keeramana, Serankada and Marangala.
President advised the former State Minister Wimalaweera Dissanayake to formulate a mechanism to pay compensation for the crops destroyed by the plague of Sena caterpillar.
It was also decided to appoint a committee to address the issues of the public pertaining to Mahaweli lands. Attention was paid to rehabilitate tanks and small irrigations in the area and to address the issue of human-elephant conflict.
Responding to the problem of unemployment, President Rajapaksa said a programme has been mooted to provide 100,000 jobs after the elections as stated in Saubhagyaye Dekma manifesto. President highlighted the importance of enhancing labour training.
President also responded to a request for setting up an economic center to sell the harvest from the area including lime and grains.
President was also apprised of the issue of non-availability of opportunities for youth to follow technical courses in rural areas. President Rajapaksa instructed relevant officials to conduct a study and take remedial steps.
President said he will forward the request to re-open schools soon to the Minister of Education.
Candidate Dr. Thilak Rajapaksa was also present on the occasion.
The President who joined the public gathering organized at 69 Handiya in Maha Oya by Mr. Keerthi Sri Weerasinghe engaged in a cordial discussion with the residents of the area and inquired into their well-being.
The President told the people gathered at the venue that the government will take steps to issue licences for ancestral lands and lands in close proximity to reservations that have been used for cultivation purposes without licences.
They also drew the President’s attention to the issues relating to drinking water supply.
The Maha Sangha invoked blessings on the President when he arrived at the public gathering organized at the Mahaoya Weekly Fair ground. The Maha Sangha commended the measures taken by the President to protect the public by preventing the spread of coronavirus in the country.
A group of indigenous people also attended the public meeting organized by Mr. Keerthi Sri Weerasinghe.
The President also joined the public gathering organized by Mr. Wimalaweera Dissanayake in front of the Uhana Provincial Council.
President Rajapaksa informed the people gathered at the venue that the government will take steps to supply water to cultivate over 300 acres of abandoned lands as well as to return the lands acquired by the Wildlife Department to the public. The President further said that it is a priority of the government to resolve the drinking water and cultivation water issues affecting the people in many areas in consultation with the relevant institutions as soon as possible.
President Rajapaksa instructed the farmers not to sell their paddy harvest below the government guaranteed price.
The President attending the public gathering organized by the Former Minister of State Sriyani Wijewickrama at the Namal Oya, Salgas Junction Weekly Fair premises said that instructions have already been given to solve the problems faced by pre-school teachers in many areas.
People also requested the President to introduce a mechanism to provide facilities for unemployed women in the area to pursue self-employment.
The people pointed out the requirement of renovation of the Namal Oya tank in Ampara.
The President also joined the public gatherings organized by Mr. Wimalaweera Dissanayake and Mr. W.D. Weerasinghe at Green Park in Ampara Urban Council and Higurana Weekly Fair premises respectively.
President Rajapaksa pledged the people to take steps to provide compensation for the crop damage caused by the Sena caterpillar and to halt the illegal import of Ethanol into the country.
The people acclaimed the President for the re-opening of the Hingurana Sugar Factory.