While the president is attempting to strengthen state ties and attract foreign investment to the country, there are others who are spreading false rumours and attempting to
sabotage these efforts – Minister Basil Rajapaksa.
Minister Basil Rajapaksa said that while the president is attempting to strengthen state ties and attract foreign investment to the country, there are others who are spreading false rumours and attempting to sabotage these efforts.
He pointed out that by these disruptive actions, these saboteurs are depriving the people of developmental opportunities. therefore it is the responsibility of the people to understand this situation and act appropriately. The minister made these remarks addressing a public forum subsequent to the commencement of construction of the Broadlands Hydro power station in Polpitiya, Kithulgala on 15 July 2013.
The minister said that no matter who tries to criticise the president’s efforts, the trust placed on the president and the government by these foreign countries has not diminished or been tarnished. He further stated that while Sri Lanka is the only country in Asia to provide uninterrupted electricity supply to the people round the clock, 365 days of the year, more power plants have to be established in order to continue to meet the increasing demand and continue round the clock power supply.
The minister of economic development further stated that there have been numerous obstacles and challenges the government had to face in setting up certain power stations, yet the government had always taken measures to act patiently in the face of these challenges to provide these necessities for the benefit of the people.
He said that being able to finally commence construction of the Broadlands project, which was stalling for a long period, is a victory not only for the people but for the government as well.
The minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa further went on to thank the minister of Power and Energy and the organising committee for inviting him to participate in the commencement ceremony of the Broadlands hydro power plant. He pointed out that today it is a president who is from a remote village who is ruling this country, and he is well aware of the hardships faced by the rural communities. “When we were living in the remote village of Medamoolana during your younger
days, we had no electricity in that village, and we used to light bottle lamps in our home. Yet when ever state officials used to visit our home we lit the petrolmax lamp, as if it wasn’t used insects would attack the mantle,” he said.
According to minister Rajapaksa, when the president assumed duties in 2005, he made many promises to the people, and his priority among them was to eradicate terrorism and end the war, which he successfully fulfilled. Subsequent to the conclusion of the war, the people’s demands increased and several industrial projects had to be initiated, which in turn increased the electricity demand. “Another factor was that 80% of the country’s population lived in the rural areas, and therefore in order to uplift
their living standards the government initiated projects such as Divi Neguma, Maga Neguma and electricity for all. When measures were taken to commence numerous electricity projects, there were many issues that arose. However some were unable to face the obstacle that arose and abandoned the projects, but the current president faced these obstacles fearlessly and overcame all adversities and commenced several power projects. We even took some of those involved in these projects to China and let them get experience. During previous governments although there were power cuts imposed, from the day this government took over we have ensured continuous power supply in spite of having to face many adversities,” he pointed out.
He said that there are those who are so focussed on finding fault with the government, yet in the past Wimalasurendra power station had malfunctioned many times. Rajapaksa further stated that while in the past only the roads in Colombo were carpeted, yet today this government had carpeted most of the roads in the rural areas as well. While the president was on a state visit to China, he had also made sure this country received many concessions and benefits toward development. However According to
Minister Rajapaksa, not only China but many countries have come forward to help in the development drive mapped out by this government.
Meanwhile addressing the gathering Minister of Power and Energy Pavithradevi Wanniarachchi said that the government’s prime objective was to provide electricity to all
She said that with the conclusion of the war the electricity requirements of the people had increased, and the president had instructed her ministry to expedite the process of providing electricity to the once war torn areas such as the North and East in order to fulfil the power needs of the people. The president had further instructed to take measures to cater to the increasing electricity demands of the sprouting small and medium scale industries, paying special attention to not leaving the people in the
This country had faced many power cuts in the past, yet when this government took over these imposed power cuts were stopped immediately and measures were taken to ensure 24 hour uninterrupted power supply. Measures were also taken to initiate more economical hydro and coal power plants in order to meet the country’s demand, and it was as a result of that effort that the Broadlands hydro power project which had been in limbo for many years was finally commenced, she added.
“We have designed this project however with the intention of preserving the environment. We have also rendered a helping hand for the upliftment of the tourism sector as well. When our president came into power the Nuwara Eliya district had only 60% electricity coverage, yet today it has reached 85% and once this Broadlands hydro power project is completed, this area will have total electricity coverage. Therefore I extend my sincere gratitude to the President, Minister Basil Rajapaksa and all
who helped in this project,” added Wanniarachchi.
Minister C.B. Ratnayake, Navin Dissanayake, Chief Minister of the Sabatagamuwa province Maheepala Herath, Chairman of the Sabatagamuwa Provincial Council Kanchana Jayaratne, Chairman CEB, W.B. Ganegala, General Manager F.K. Mohideen, and the Director of the Broadland project Kamal Laksiri also participated in this initiation ceremony.