(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe stresses that the challenging issue for the people to resolve today is whether to try rebuilding the country through an export economy with the world or retreat back to isolation.
The Premier pointed out that it is necessary to make Sri Lanka an export economic hub again in the world, as in the era of Rajarata and Kotte.
Addressing the gathering after laying the foundation stone for the construction of the Lower Malwathu Oya Thanthirimale Reservoir known as ‘Reservoir of Reconciliation” this morning, the Prime Minister added that Malwathu Oya is not just a water stream but a source of Sinhalese civilization and an important part of Sri Lankan identity.
Mr. Wickremesinghe added that Sri Lanka cannot be allowed to continue to be a poor and debt-dependent country and we must commit to change this situation and make it a stronger and more prosperous country.
He said although there have been severe setbacks, including floods, landslides, droughts, constitutional conspiracies and bomb blasts during the past two years, they were overcome in a short time and continuing the same commitment and hard work will create a strong nation.
The Prime Minister said due to the launch of work of this reservoir today, not only the people of Anuradhapura but also those in the Wanni and Mannar will receive water. The Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim communities will receive water. He said that funds for this reservoir were allocated after the terror attacks unleashed during Easter Sunday this year.
The Prime Minister said that they accept the fact that the economy was blocked for two months. It was a severe blow to them. But they are gradually overcoming the issue and optimistic that they could achieve a better situation by the end of this year.
He emphasized that the country should modernize agriculture and transform into exports. It requires at least four to five years to achieve this and thee earnings of the villages will increase by at least fifty percent, he said.
The Chief Adhikarana Sanghanayake of the North and East Venerable Thanthirimale Chandraratana Thero delivering the sermon on the occasion said it is his belief as well as of the intelligent people in the country that the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has the capability to build a strong economy and make Sri Lanka a glorious and independent country.
Minister of Agriculture P Harrison said the Thanthirimale reservoir, which is second only to Senanayake Samudraya, is a step towards harmony between Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim communities.
He said the project aims to meet the drinking water requirements of 50,000 families, meet all the requirements of electricity generation and agriculture. Had this project been built decades ago, even the ethnic conflict in the country could have been avoided.
Minister of Industry and Commerce, Rishad Bathiudeen addressing the gathering said the Thanthirimale Reservoir is a project of relief for the people of Anuradhapura, Vavuniya and Mannar districts.
The Minister further stated that this project will enable the farmers to carry out farming activities, which are limited to one season now, in both seasons. In addition, a large number of development projects have been launched island wide under the leadership of the Prime Minister.
Anunayake of the Malwathu Chapter, Ven. Niyangoda Vijitha Thero, religious leaders, Ministers Ravi Karunanayake, Gayantha Karunathilake, Chandrani Bandara, State Minister Amir Ali, Parliamentarians Palitha Range Bandara, Chandima Gamage and Ishak Rahuman and Governor of North Central Province Sarath Ekanayake and a large number of Army officers and state officials were also present.