Presidential Secretariat of Sri Lanka

President directs officials to withdraw lawsuits based on old circulars as new laws are now in place

 President signs 17,000 deeds after clearing disputes identified at the “Discussion with the Village” program.

 People’s representatives, State officials and the public should cooperate in addressing rural issues.

 Shortage of English teachers will be addressed according to school requirements.

 7-decade long people’s dream for the Kumbukkan Oya Project gets underway.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa instructs the officials to withdraw cases filed under old circulars with the implementation of new rules that allow farmers to continue cultivation on lands traditionally used for agriculture.

President Rajapaksa has instructed all the departments and institutions, including wildlife, forestry, environment and land, to take into consideration requests frequently made by the public during the “Discussion with the Village” sessions when formulating new laws in the interest of the people. Existing issues with the laws will be resolved and new laws will be implemented. This decision was taken to relieve the public of their sufferings caused as a result of litigation against state institutions.

President stated that he has already signed 17,000 deeds after clearing disputes by yesterday(Jan. 29).

President Rajapaksa made these directives and remarks during the 8th Discussion with the Village program on the bank of the Kukulkatuwa tank in Thanamalwila Aluthwewa Grama Niladhari Division, Monaragala yesterday(30).

The “Discussion with the Village” program was launched on September 25, 2020 in the Badulla District. Thereafter programs were organized covering Matale, Ratnapura, Anuradhapura, Ampara, Polonnaruwa and Kalutara districts. The President aims to meet the people of the remote villages away from cities and towns who have not been given due attention for a long time, and to inquire into their suffering and to bring them to the attention of the respective officials providing solutions to them instantaneously. Issues that need more time to resolve will be noted down to be addressed in the future. The objective of the program is to reach out to the villagers, analyze their issues and find solutions through their own suggestions and proposals.

President conversed with the students and the villagers who were gathered at the Kotawehera Mankada Maha Vidyalaya and inquired into the hardships they face upon arrival in the Thanamalvila area for the “Discussion with the Village” program.

President Rajapaksa instructed the Army to commence the development of the playground of Kotawehera Mankada Maha Vidyalaya from tomorrow (31) at the request of the students. President was also concerned about constructing an auditorium for the school.

Aluthwewa village which is about 100km from the Moneragala town, was selected for the 8th program of the “Discussion with the Village”. Aluthwewa is bordered by the villages Kotawehera Mankada, Wellawaya, Hambegamuwa and Walawe river and Kandiyapita tank. Dalukgala, Koratuwewa, Kilimbunna, Millagala, Dahaiyagala, Nabadapalessa and Pokunuthenna areas fall under the Aluthwewa Grama Niladhari Division. 790 families are living in Aluthwewa where the total population is 2794. Aluthwewa became a settlement in the early 20th century due to the migration of people from the Udawalawe National Park area for hunting and Chena farming. Paddy and Chena farming are the main livelihood of many settlers in the village.

Ideas and suggestions of the people are given due consideration in solving their issues. President Rajapaksa emphasized the requirement of people’s representatives, government officials and the rural masses in managing their villages in unison.

It has come to light about the persisting shortage of English teachers in a number of schools on the island. As a remedy, the President instructed the Secretary of Education to expedite the recruitment of English teachers to the respective schools.

Uva Provincial Governor A.J.M. Muzammil was tasked with the responsibility of allocating required provisions for the construction of the Thanamalwila Zonal Education Office.

It was decided to develop Sevanagala, Okkampitiya, Hambegamuwa and Kotawehera Mankada Schools to the status of National Schools and to establish an Education Centre with adequate facilities for differently-abled students in Aluthwewa and surrounding villages.

The President instructed the authorities to develop playgrounds in all schools in the district.

In addition, the President instructed the authorities to take immediate steps to address the shortage of teachers in the district and to develop playgrounds and other infrastructure facilities.

President Rajapaksa also directed the authorities to develop roads up to Aluthwewa, Kilimbunna, Kalutota, Kotawehera Mankada and Aluthwewa and by-roads and agricultural land roads and bridges in the area.

The need for clean drinking water in Aluthwewa and surrounding villages and the measures to be taken to address this issue immediately were discussed in depth. The President ordered the Ministry of Water Supply and Drainage to commence the Kumbukkan Oya project, which was first proposed in 1952, but remains unimplemented so far and complete expeditiously.

It was decided to implement the Weheragala Wewa Project and the Sevanagala water purification facility properly to meet the drinking water needs of the people.

The President stressed the urgent need to identify the natural water sources in the area and to use them in order to meet the drinking water needs.

Steps were also taken to supply drinking water to many villages including Aluthwewa through RO Plant and piped water.

The President instructed the officials to fast-track the fulfilling of the request made by the people to restore 10 tanks including the Kukulkatuwa tank for their cultivation purposes.

At the request of the villagers, the Health Secretary agreed to establish a Paediatric and Maternity clinic at the Hambegamuwa Hospital. In addition, President Rajapaksa instructed that a psychiatrist’s clinic should be conducted to cover the Thanamalwila and Moneragala areas at least once a month.

Attention was also drawn to address the shortage of doctors and nurses at the Hambegamuwa Regional Hospital, Moneragala, Thanamalwila and Wellawaya Hospitals and to develop other infrastructure facilities.

It was also decided to renovate all the elephant fences in the district which were built a few years ago and left unattended. The President directed the officials to conduct a rapid field study on the unauthorized constructions in the Bodagama tank reserve and to take further measures not to allow any unauthorized constructions in any of the tank reserves.

President Rajapaksa instructed the officials to immediately look into the use of substandard weedicides in agriculture and stressed that the law should be strictly enforced against businessmen who sell such inferior material.

The computers and communication equipment donated by Sri Lanka Telecom and Mobitel for the “Smart Classrooms” at Aluthwewa Junior and Sevanagala Mahanaga Schools and Computers and Televisions donated by Dialog Axiata for Rathambalagala Junior and Hambegamuwa Maha Vidyalayas were presented by President Rajapaksa to the principals of the respective schools.

The appointment letters for three trainees from the National Apprenticeship and Industrial Training Authority(NAITA) were presented under the program to offer employment for 100,000 low-Income families took place in parallel to the “Discussion with the Village” program.

Uva Provincial Governor A.J.M. Muzammil, State Ministers Shasheendra Rajapaksa, Vijitha Berugoda, MPs Jagath Pushpakumara, Kumarasiri Rathnayake, Dayashan Navanandana, former MP Sumedha G. Jayasena, Principal Adviser to the President Lalith Weeratunga and a number of people’s representatives, Secretaries to Ministries, Heads of Government Institutions and the Security Forces participated in the “Discussion with the Village” program held on the bank of the Kukulkatuwa tank.

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