The first “Discussion with the Village” program in the Northern Province will be held in Vedivaithyakallu Grama Niladhari Division of the Vavuniya North Divisional Secretariat Division in the Vavuniya district tomorrow(April 03). The Bogaswewa Maha Vidyala premises have been selected for the discussion. This is the 17th in the series of “Discussion with the Village” program. The public forum which begins at 10 am will be presided over by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa with the participation of People’s representatives including the Ministers and MPs of the District, Secretaries to Ministries, Heads of various institutions and officials.
Vedivaithyakallu Grama Niladhari Division is located about 38 km East and South of Vavuniya town bordering Padaviya and Kebithigollewa Divisional Secretariats and Nandimithra village in the west of the Anuradhapura district. Bogaswewa 1, Bogaswewa 2, Kambiliwewa, Wediwaithyakallu, Kovilpuliyankulama and Veheratenna villages belong to the Grama Niladhari Division. The village has a total population of 1520 comprising 478 families. Paddy and Chena farming are the main livelihood of the people.
People in the Vedivaithyakallu and surrounding villages have long been suffering from a number of common grievances. Lack of Education and Health Care facilities are at the core of the issues. In addition, People have been facing problems such as lack of infrastructure facilities including by roads which have not been renovated since 2010, lack of proper housing, non-availability if electricity, shortage of drinking and cultivating water, agricultural issues as well as the threat of wild elephants intrusions. Villagers are also anticipating to find permanent solutions to the land ownership problem, to develop tanks and canals, to upgrade the Bogaswewa Hospital and to set up a fertilizer depot.
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, in order to uplift the rural sector. Building a strong national economy based on agriculture is one of the key pledges made to the people by the manifesto “Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour” policy statement.
The rural folks, which constitutes about 75% of the population of Sri Lanka, still suffering from a wide variety of problems including economic and social issues. landlessness, absence of proper title deeds, shortage of water for drinking and cultivation purposes, underdeveloped status of roads and transport issues, health and education issues, the human-elephant conflict, bureaucratic lethargy are a few of the major issues affecting them. The objective of the programme is to reach out to the people of the villages, understand their problems and find solutions through their own suggestions. 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.
President Rajapaksa is of the view that understanding the issues that affect the rural people from a one-sided perspective is one of the reasons for the delay in giving solutions for their issues. Officials see the problem from their own perspective and villagers according to their sentiments. The President believes out that the process of providing solution could be expedited through correctly identifying all aspects of the problem. This approach has been used in previous “Discussion with the Village” programmes to provide immediate and long term solutions to a number of issues.
The “Discussion with the Village” programme commenced on September 25, 2020 from Badulla District. Thereafter programmes were organized covering Matale, Ratnapura, Anuradhapura, Ampara, Polonnaruwa, Kalutara, Moneragala, Kegalle, Kandy, Puttalam, Trincomalee, Kurunegala, Galle, Nuwaraeliya and Matara districts.