Presidential Secretariat of Sri Lanka

Farmers permitted to carry on traditional cultivation until issues resolved…

Permanent solution to wild elephant problem…

Commence all stalled development work in schools island-wide immediately….

  • Vedikachchiya villagers to get new houses
  • Fence to be erected to prevent damages caused by deer to crops
  • Water to cultivate both Seasons
  • Vocational training opportunities in the district to be expanded

–      President decided at “Discussion with the Village” programme

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said permission will be granted to farmers to engage in their traditional cultivation activities continuously without any disruption until related issues are resolved.

President arrived at this decision focusing on  issues fervently raised by the farmers who attended the 6th in the series of programme “Discussion with the Village”.

Officials of Wildlife, Forest Conservation, Environment, Police and other institutions were instructed by the President not to disturb with traditional cultivation activities. However, President emphasized that no one is allowed to clear forests newly for cultivational purposes.

Polonnaruwa is one of the districts severely affected by the threat posed by wild elephants. President instructed relevant parties to understand correctly the problem faced by the people for a long time and to commence construction of both trenches and electric fences as a permanent solution.

People gathered highlighted the disruption caused to the education of students due to the development work being stalled in many schools in the district. Paying attention to the matter, President Rajapaksa directed authorities to expedite the completion of all development work at schools in the island.

These decisions were taken by the President at the “Discussion with the Village” programme held in Wedikachchiya village in Medirigiriya in the Polonnaruwa district yesterday (16). This marks the 6th of the series of programme attended by the President.

The programme commenced on September 25th, 2020 from Badulla district. Five programmes have so far been organized covering Matale, Ratnapura, Anuradhapura and Ampara districts.

Meeting the people in remote areas outside the city who had not been given due hearing for a long time, President drew attention of the officials to inquire into the difficulties faced by the villagers and find solutions rapidly.  Problems that can be solved on the spot are instantly addressed. The rest which take time to deal with are noted down to find solutions later.

Vedikachchiya village in Medirigiriya Divisional Secretariat located around 45 km away from Polonnaruwa city belongs to Zone “D” of the Mahaweli Development project. Consisting villages of Samagipura, Darshanapura, Dahamwewa and Peramaduwa, the area covers around 79 square kilometers. The population in the village is 2561 people belonging to  723 families. Agriculture and self-employment are the sources of main livelihood of the people in Wedikachchiya and surrounding villages. One of the major problems faced by the villagers is that paddy cultivation has to be restricted only to the Maha Season due to shortage of water. This situation forces them to leave the village during the Yala Season seeking employment as hired labourers.

President stated that entirely new houses will be built replacing the existing ones in the Wedikachchiya village which lacks even basic facilities. The political authority and the officials in the district were instructed to take immediate steps to repair the canals and tanks and provide irrigation water as a solution to the long standing cultivation problems of the villagers enabling them to cultivate both the seasons.

People also pointed out the damage caused by deer to crops in Medirigiriya – Watadageya area. As a remedy, it was decided to erect a steel net fence covering habitats of deer. Governor of the North Central Province Maheepala Herath agreed to provide funds for this purpose.

President Rajapaksa emphasized the need to establish vocational training facilities for students who sit GCE (A/L) examination. The State Minister in charge of the subject would be made aware of this requirement and vocational training opportunities would be created, President said.

Attention of the President was particularly paid to the drinking water shortage in the area. President advised to complete the project to meet the demand for water of ten thousand families by constructing a water purification plant connecting Kaudulla Wewa and laying pipe lines before the end of 2021.

President instructed the officials of the Ministry of Power to provide “Solar Power Systems” free of charge to schools and low income families who are unable to pay their electricity bills.

Instructions were issued to fulfill existing un-met requirements in hospitals and schools in the area and expedite the development of number of main and byroads.

In parallel to “Discussion with the Village ” programme President participated in the opening of Mahaweli Primary School in Bisopura, Medirigiriya. President Rajapaksa invited former President Maithreepala Sirisena, who spearheaded the construction of the school to open it.

President handed over 02 computers donated by Sri Lanka Mobitel and a television set donated by Dialog to the Principal of the school.

Former President Maithreepala Sirisena, State Ministers Roshan Ranasinghe, Siripala Gamlath, Member of Parliament Amarakeerthi Athukorala, Governor of the North Central Province Maheepala Herath, Principal Advisor to the President Lalith Weeratunga, political representatives of the area, Ministry Secretaries, heads of Government entities were among the gathering attended the “Discussion with the Village” programme.