September 24, 2020
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    Our Govt. will resolve the country's drinking water issues within the next five years - State Min. Kanchana Wijesekara

    September 11, 2020

    The current government will resolve all the burning issues in the country, including the drinking water issue within their five year tenure and will not let this problem be handed down  to the next government, assured State Minister of Ornamental Fish, Inland Fish and Prawn Farming, Fishery Harbour Development, Multi-day Fishing Activities and Fish Exports  Kanchana Wijesekara.

    He said that during the 4 ½ years of rule by the previous government, they had succeeded in almost doubling the debt of the country. “During this period the debt burden which  was at around Rs. 7391 billion had increased to Rs. 14,000 billion. If they had ruled for another six months they would have definitely doubled the debts of the country. Not just  that, under their rule, the economic development rate which was at around 6% among the highest in South Asia, was brought down to among the lowest in South Asia, even below  Afghanistan. Even the taxes was increased by 100%.”

    Wijesekara pointed out that according to the Central Bank report, over 200,000 jobs had been reduced from the job market in the country during the tenure of the previous  government.

    Responding to SJB - MP Manusha Nanayakkara who brought up a decade long issue of drinking water scarcity in the Galle District, Wijesekara said that it is shameful for  Nanayakkara to say this as he was an MP during this decade and a member of that government during this time, but had done nothing to resolve this issue. “You raise the issue of  the drinking water crisis in Galle today, but you were a member of parliament representing the government during this period but did nothing to resolve this issue. You should be  ashamed of yourself. You know very well what decisions the Rajapaksa government took in 2014 to resolve the water crisis in Galle. Through the Deyata Kirula, they planned to  resolve the drinking water crisis in Galle, Matara and Hambantota districts. Yet, after the good governance regime came to power, it was your government that stopped this project.  Your government, including Mangala Samaraweera decided that this project was not required.”

    Hence, he said that due to these bad decisions, they then had to wait until 2017 to restart these projects. But, today President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa is aware of the ground situation  and despite many making fun of our ministries, he has divided the ministries to provide the best possible service to the people. “Through the complaints and requests received by  the people, the President has divided the relevant ministries and institutions in order to serve the people better. Therefore, you need not worry, we will not leave any issue  unresolved, including the water issue for any other government after us to resolve. We will resolve all these issues during our tenure.”

    State Minister Wijesekara also noted that they had protested against the implementation of the 19th Amendment throughout the past five years and it is a pledge made to the people  to do away with the 19th Amendment. He said that the 20th Amendment is not meant to grant the President unprecedented powers to serve himself, but to give him the same power  enjoyed by previous presidents in order to fulfil his promises made to the people.

    He also the raised the issue of supplies issued to the forces, hospitals etc where he said that the fish and other produce that is supplied are those imported to the country when the  local market is capable of meeting these demands. Hence, he said that as the State Minister of Fisheries, measures would be taken to supply these state institutions with local  produce. He also noted that within the next three months an online system would be implemented for those engaged in fisheries activities to obtain the relevant permits and  permission to engage in the fishing trade without having to face many obstacles and red tape.


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