The first “Discussion with the Village” programme in the Southern Province will be held tomorrow (13) in the Hikkaduwa Divisional Secretariat Division of the Galle District. This is the 14th in the series.
Janapada Junior School in Galagoda East Grama Niladhari Division has been selected as the venue for the public forum which is scheduled to begin at 10.00 am.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa will be accompanied by People’s representatives including the Ministers and MPs of the District, Secretaries to Ministries, Heads of various institutions and officials.
In his manifesto, “Vistas of Prosperity & Splendor” the President pledged to achieve the four-fold objectives of making a productive citizen, a happy family, a virtuous, disciplined and just society and a prosperous country.
President Rajapaksa believes that in order to achieve this broad objective, the problems faced by the rural population, which constitutes about 70% of the population of Sri Lanka, must be accurately identified and addressed expeditiously. People in rural areas have suffered for long due to a wide variety of problems. The ultimate goal of the “Discussion with the Village” programme is for President to go grass roots, with the officials, to witness himself the difficulties suffered by fellow citizens first hand and in order to uplift the rural sector.
The most issues identified during the “Discussion with the Village” programme are immediately addressed giving consideration to the suggestions and recommendations of the villagers with the assistance of the state officials. The rest which takes time to deal with are noted down to find solutions later. The President believes that a problem could be approached conveniently and immediately if one could cover all the aspects of the issue accurately.
The “Discussion with the Village” programme commenced on September 25, 2020 from Velanwita village in Haldummulla Divisional Secretariat Division of Badulla District. Thereafter programmes were organized covering Matale, Ratnapura, Anuradhapura, Ampara, Polonnaruwa, Kalutara, Moneragala, Kegalle, Kandy, Puttalam, Trincomalee and Kurunegala districts.
The Galaboda East Grama Niladhari Division of the Hikkaduwa Divisional Secretariat area under the Rathgama Pradeshiya Sabha, which has been selected for tomorrow’s “Discussion with the Village”, programme is located 7 km away from the town of Ambalangoda. It covers an area of 444 acres. It has a population of 3711 comprising 1072 families.
Fishing industry, Agriculture, Cinnamon and Coir rope industry are the main livelihoods of the villagers. Issues that affect the residents of Galaboda and other surrounding villages have already been ascertained.
Land issues pertaining to those who were resettled after the tsunami disaster, drug and other illicit activities, barriers to the traditional granite industry, the shortage of clean drinking water, problems with the fishing harbour and estuary, and the inadequacy of staff members and infrastructure facilities in the health and education sectors are a few of the major issues affecting them.