Presidential Secretariat of Sri Lanka

Giving swift solutions to public grievances is neither political gimmick nor media hype…

It is not my method to ascertain people’s problems only by consulting officials…

 President tells at Dickellakanda “Discussion with the Village” programme

  • No room for illegal activities misusing decisions taken to solve people’s problems
  • Young people’s representatives urged to win people through hard work
  • Nationalism cannot be sustained without strengthening the economy….
  • A proper development plan and housing project for Maliboda town …

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has emphasized that going to the grassroots level, in order to give swift solutions to public grievances, is neither political gimmick nor media hype.

‘The next Presidential Election is almost four years away. We travel to the villages to fulfill the respective duties that should be performed while in power. No other President has ever gone among the people living in rural areas to give them a hearing and relieve them of their burden even though they may have visited these villages as members of the Opposition. It is not my method being confined to Colombo and ascertains the people’s problems only by consulting officials. There may be some who may criticize this system but “I will work according to my own method,” said President Rajapaksa.

“I became the President after rendering years of service to the people. One can become a people’s leader only by right performance of the responsibilities of a leader.” Therefore, the President advised the young people’s representatives to go among the people to see for themselves the difficulties citizens undergo and addressed them.

The President made these remarks participating in the “Discussion with the Village” programme held yesterday (06) at the Dickellakanda Junior College premises in the Dickellakanda Grama Niladhari Division within the Deraniyagala Divisional Secretariat Division in the Kegalle District. This marks the ninth in the series of “Discussion with the Village” attended by the President.

The President emphasized that if any individual or a group engages in illegal activities misusing the decisions taken to solve the problems of the people as a pretext, they will be severely punished.

It was decided to grant the cultivation rights to the farmer who has cultivated a particular plot of land for generations. The President said that it has been revealed that a group of people are exploiting this opportunity to cause damage to the environment and the forest reserves. The power of nature must be used for the betterment of human beings. President Rajapaksa said that nationalism could not be sustained without strengthening the economy and that the aim of the government is to build a national economy based on agriculture.

The “Discussion with the Village” programme commenced on September 25, 2020 from Badulla district. The previous programmes were organized covering Matale, Ratnapura, Anuradhapura, Ampara, Polonnaruwa, Kalutara and Moneragala districts. The idea behind this programme is for President to talk to the rural communities living in remote and difficult areas without intermediaries about their long-standing unresolved problems and to present them directly to the officials in order to find solutions. 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. The objective of the programme is to reach out to the people of the villages, ask their questions and find solutions through their own suggestions.

Dickellakanda village is located at a distance of about 23 km from Deraniyagala town and borders the Sri Pada reserve. Asgala, Pallahena, Namalwatta and Urawanawa belong to the Dickellakanda Grama Niladhari Division. These villages have 208 families comprising a population of 718. Maliboda, Pothdeniya and Magala are the other villages around Dickellakanda.

Majority of the residents in these villages, which are located in a highly sensitive ecological zone, are engaged in tea cultivation or in an occupation affiliated with it. Cloves, Cardamom and Pepper are their other plantation crops. A total of 25 families are engaged in the Kitul industry.

People are severely affected due to status of underdevelopment of the road network and bridge system and the weak public transport services.

The people during the programme apprised the President of various issues they face frequently. In response to the complaints by the public with regard to the dilapidated condition of roads, President Rajapaksa instructed the officials to commence development of the road forthwith from Pothdenikanda area to Dickwellakanda and complete it.

In addition, President instructed the relevant officials to develop the roads in the area including routes from Maliboda to Pandeniya on the way to Sri Pada, Deraniyagala to Nuriya Udamaliboda to Dickellakanda and Maliboda to Urawanawa Ambagahakanda  expeditiously.

President Rajapaksa emphasized the need to develop the minor access roads in rural estate areas across the island connecting them with the by-roads in close proximity.

It was also decided to carry out a comprehensive survey of all the bridges in the area and develop them accordingly. The President also instructed that if contractors fail to deliver their service appropriately in the construction process, they should be blacklisted and replaced with other well performing agencies and contractors.

“From now on, all the constructions should be expedited under the supervision of people’s representatives and officials” the President added.

Special attention was paid to expedite the Polgaswatta, Basnagala-Horagahahinna water projects to address the shortage of clean drinking water and to identify the water sources in the district for the purpose of fulfilling drinking water needs.

President Rajapaksa advised the Ministry of Urban Development to develop Maliboda town in a systematic fashion and the State Ministry of Estate Housing and Community Infrastructure to expedite the launch of a new housing scheme.

It was also decided to construct a new building for Dickellakanda Junior College, accommodate laboratory facilities and develop the school playground. President Rajapaksa also decided to donate a three-wheeler to the school to facilitate transportation for the teachers.

The development of the Pothdenikanda Vidayala’s playground will commence immediately. The President instructed the Secretary of Education to provide sports ware and band instruments to all the schools that do not already possess them. President Rajapaksa also advised the officials to look into the computer requirements in the schools and meet them accordingly.

President Rajapaksa added that steps should be taken to address the issue of shortage of teachers in all schools in the district and to develop other infrastructure facilities. Special attention was paid to providing opportunities for students who have passed G.C.E. Advanced Level to fill the vacancies for teachers in English, Mathematics, Science and Information Technology persisting in Tamil medium schools.

It was also decided to fill the vacancies of medical and other staff members in rural hospitals in the Kegalle District and to develop the infrastructure facilities as well. President also paid his special attention into the issues pertaining to lands in the area.

The computers donated by the SLT Mobitel for Dickellakanda Junior College, Maliboda Tamil College and Udamaliboda Sri Devananda Vidyalaya and televisions and internet connections donated by Dialog Axiata were handed over to the principals of the respective schools by the President.

Governor of the Sabaragamuwa province Tikiri Kobbekaduwa, Governor of the North  Central province Maheepala Herath, State Ministers Kanaka Herath, Tharaka Balasuriya, MPs Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, Sudath Manjula, Sarathi Dushmantha, Rajika Wickramasinghe, Principal Advisor to the President, Lalith Weeratunga, People’s representatives of the district, Secretaries to the Ministries, Heads of the State Institutes and Security Forces officials and several others attended the 9th “Discussion with the Village” programme held at the Dickellakanda Junior College premises.