“Hon. Minister of Power and Energy, PavithraWanniarachchi states that Sri Lankans are not the kind of people who react to instigations of racism and Religious fanaticism but a set of pragmatic people who take wise practical decisions on behalf of the country”.
The above statement was made by her when she participated in the ceremony where the first installment of compensation was paid to private land owners, whose lands were taken over for the Broadlands Hydro Power Project. She further stated that all of us should appreciate and be grateful to these people who thought very broadly and took this decision to hand over their private lands for the future welfare of all of us, in establishing this Hydro Power Project.
A sum of 21 million Rupees was handed over to 47 land owners who gave their private lands for the Broadlands Hydro Power project. It was also pointed out by Hon Minister Power and Energy, PavithraWanniarachchi, Attorney at Law, that it is a very important factor to receive the cooperation of the public when national projects are launched.She further stated that the Broadlands Hydro Power Project is a major National project and the fact that the public cooperated with the Government without being misled by narrow political influences and ideologies, is a factor to be appreciated and admired. It was also stated that a high amount in compensation was able to be paid to whose who lost their lands because the His Excellency the President is a leader who always acted on behalf of the common man.
At this function Hon. Minister Power and Energy, PavithraWanniarachchi, Attorney at Law, further stated, ….. quote
“I always told the Ceylon Electricity Board to take decisions taking in to consideration the people who lost their lands. That is why we were able to pay you a reasonable amount. WE all know that MahindaRajapakse is a leader who always visualized from the common mans” perspective. While he thinks like this, we as Ministers also take similar policy decisions. It is essential that as a Government it is important to launch projects for the development of the country. In so doing, people lose their land and property. It is a great sacrifice by these people who took the decision to leave their traditional lands, where they had lived all their lives in a familiar environment and made this sacrifice on behalf of the country.
It costs over S. 30/- to produce 1 Unit of electricity using Thermal Power. But the cost incurred to produce 1 Unit of electricity using Hydro Power is only Rs. 3/-. When we have to spend Rs. 30/- to produce 1 Unit of electricity the cost is recovered from the people of this country. However, when the cost to produce 1 Unit of electricity is only Rs. 3/- to 4/-, then also the benefit is accrued to the people of this country. Wecant all be the President of this country. But there are certain ways and means to work for the country. One is to be a member of the political process initiated by the leader who is taking this country forward and also safeguarding it” UNQUOTE.
The Hon. Minister also said that today the public is provoked for the slightest thing by extremist elements. There are extremists both in the Buddhist and Muslim religioussectors.These extremist elements try to incite the public with their extremist ideas. It is our responsibility not to get incited by these elements. Sri Lankans are not a set of people who can be swayed by unsubstanciated rhetoric or jumping into conclusions by seeing things on the surface. The people of this country is a pragmatic lot and always act after weighing the pros and cons of any situation. It is because of this quality that they thought very broadly and decided to sacrifice their lands for the development of the country.
There is a certain section in this country who have instilled poisonous ideas in the minds of the people and wait till trouble erupts. This is very easy. But practically it is difficult to execute these ideas. If a country is to be developed, and if projects and schemes are to be implemented then lands like this will be lost. It is therefore a very noble act to think and sacrifice your lands for such a cause said Hon. Minister, PavithraWanniarachchi.
Present on this occasion were the people who handed over their lands for the Broadlands Hydro Power Scheme, Chairman of the Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council Mr. KanchanaJayaratne, General Manager of the Ceylon Electricity Board Mr. Shavindranath Fernando, Director of the Broadlands Hydro Power Scheme Prof. Kamal Laksiri and other officials