Massive development drive in progress – State Minister Tharaka Balasuriya | Daily News

Massive development drive in progress – State Minister Tharaka Balasuriya

Political authorities who participated in the Kegalle District Representatives’ Conference affiliated to the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Progressive Trade Unions National Centre being welcomed. (Pictures by Ranjith Asanka)
Political authorities who participated in the Kegalle District Representatives’ Conference affiliated to the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Progressive Trade Unions National Centre being welcomed. (Pictures by Ranjith Asanka)

Regional Co-operation State Minister Tharaka Balasuriya said that during the period of four years which has passed since the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) was established, a massive development drive has taken place in the country.

The State Minister made these comments at the Kegalle District Representatives Conference affiliated to the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Progressive Trade Union National Centre held at the Kegalle Municipal Hall recently under the theme, Siwudesa Suraki Siwu Wasara or the ‘four years that secured all four directions.’

This conference was organized by two powerful activist unions of the Commercial Industries and Services Progressive Employees Union affiliated to the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna, which are the Lake House and Broadcasting Corporation Progressive Employees Unions.

Expressing his views further on this occasion, State Minister Tharaka Balasuriya said: “The most powerful strength of the SLPP is the network of branch associations at village level. In addition to our branch associations, we have organized ourselves with people power which other parties do not possess. Arrangements have been made to set up a large number of organizations affiliated to our party. The founder of our party former Minister Basil Rajapaksa has told us to set up affiliated organizations in a people-friendly manner. Accordingly, trade union representatives’ organizations affiliated to various professions have been built up.”

“According to advice and guidance provided by former Minister Basil Rohana Rajapaksa we carry out party organization work very well. We work with immense commitment to help realize President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s ‘Vistas of Prosperity and splendour policy’ framework. The contribution of fearless leader, present Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa who brought an end to the 30-year war, towards making the Government’s programmes a success is impossible to describe. Our party which obtained power was able to take the country forward under such great leadership, within such a short period of time. Today certain people are criticizing the Government,” he said.

“They are questioning about the environment. However, this country escaped the dangerous situation which prevailed four years ago due to the actions of our party leadership. It was from December 2019 that the country began to move forward with a budget of our own Government under the leadership of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa who won the Presidential Election. We had to face the Covid-19 pandemic which affected the entire world. At the same time, various sections collapsed due to the Easter Sunday attacks. Steps are being taken to raise the state of the country and its economy which was in a collapsed state. What happened subsequent to a new Government being established by our party leadership or the biggest achievement obtained was that a federal country, if not a country segregated based on races and religions being established was halted. Also, massive development has taken place in the country. We are working towards winning the challenges posed against our Government by the international community. The leadership of our party had the strength to reject totally, all 11 agreements which were disadvantageous to our country, and not only that, but the allegations targeting our War Heroes, made by the Human Rights Council. Although people are trying to criticize the Government even now, those criticisms are not justified. There is no party in history which achieved power subsequent to much suffering, as this Government. Therefore, I have to say that we are a party which puts the country at number one,” the State Minister said.

Kegalle District Parliamentarian and District Development Committee Chairman Rajika Wickramasinghe said: “People requested our party leadership to provide a secure country. Accordingly, as soon as President Gotabaya Rajapaksa came to power he secured national security completely. He made plans to make the collapsed economy strong and rebuild it. He explained very well how those things will be done. Under the programme, Gama Samaga Pilisandarak (Dialogue with the Village), all people’s problems are brought to one place and the solutions to resolve them are planned. That programme is now being implemented. The trust that 6.9 million people placed in President Gotabaya Rajapaksa will not be allowed to be damaged even in a minor way. Even powerful countries of the world became destitute due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The President used in an excellent manner the Tri-Forces, health sectors and all others to minimize the suffering from the Covid-19 hazard. Certain people do not appreciate these things. At the same time, they attempt to mislead the people. With our defeat in 2015, the country moved backwards. But now we have proper, correct leadership. Fallow fields are being cultivated. One hundred thousand kilometres of rural roads are being carpeted. Also, infrastructure facilities are being developed in anticipation of development in every sector. Empty criticism made by some people who do not talk about those things should be ignored. The strength being provided by trade unions to our Government has to be appreciated,” he said.

Chief Organizer for the Mawanella Electorate of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna, former Provincial Councillor Indunil Shantha Gunasena said: “If there is a party which showed success within a brief period, it is our party. Establishing this party was not an easy task. Our party was created amidst many obstacles. This was due to the organizational strength of former Minister Basil Rajapaksa. Similarly, we should be stronger under the leadership of the President and the PM.”

Amarapala Gamage of the Banks Trade Union Federation affiliated to the Commercial Industries and Services Progressive Trade Unions Federation said: “Prior to establishing the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna as a party, there was no method for engaging in trade union work. We recall how we went to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s home in Medamulana in an effort to establish a party under his leadership and set up a Government. The first election our party faced was the Local Government elections. We achieved an excellent victory. We implemented a process with immense commitment to obtain more and more postal votes. It proved successful. Accordingly, we worked through a successful empowerment of trade unions targeting postal votes at the Presidential Election too. Accordingly, the presidential candidate from our party won. We worked day and night with great commitment not considering how much of an effort we put in. Now, just because our Government is in power there is no way we can spend time idling. Our trade union sector should work with further commitment to defeat international forces and local conspiracies. With that objective in mind, under the guidance of former minister Basil Rajapaksa we arranged to hold trade union representatives’ conferences at district level. When President Mahinda Rajapaksa was defeated and was at the Medamulana house all forces gathered together and worked to establish a Government under his leadership. Steps were taken to hold the ‘Mahinda Sulanga’ massive rally which commenced from Nugegoda to the huge walk from Kandy to Colombo.”

Commercial Industries and Services Progressive Federation Trade Unions affairs Secretary of the, Sudath Abeywardena said: “We did not take into consideration the various pressures from the 2015 Government and made arrangements to establish a new party. Then they harassed us in many ways. They obstructed us. They deprived us of our jobs. We suffered all those hardships and created a new party. That was with the objective of setting up a Government that cared about the country. Today a Government of ours has been set up. Our ministers and heads of institutions have been appointed. The trade union sector is contributing towards protecting the Government.”

President of the Kegalle District Representatives’ Union of Commercial Industries and Services Progressive Trade Unions Federation and President of the Lake House branch, journalist Chandana Bandara said: “It is next to impossible to describe the assistance we received from the political leadership when organizing this Kegalle District Trade Union Representatives’ Conference. At the same time, we have to appreciate the encouragement we received from our representatives. At this moment, we appreciate the assistance provided by Kegalle District Political Leader State Minister Kanaka Herath and State Minister Tharaka Balasuriya as well as Member of Parliament Rajika Wickramasinghe and the organizers of our party from every electorate in the Kegalle District. It is my responsibility to welcome everyone who has joined on this occasion. Our party is a party which came forward amidst much distress and trouble. We have to engage in a massive struggle in winning the country and its people while protecting our party. During this instance, as Trade Union representatives, we have to move forward amid all challenges while overcoming them. Our respect goes out to everyone who is gathered here today.”

Representative of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation Employees Union of the Commercial Industries and Services Progressive Trade Unions Federation and representative of the Mass Media Ministry Susantha Karunasinghe delivered the vote of thanks.

Former Provincial Councilor Ajith Shaminda, Kegalle Pradeshiya Sabha (PS) Chairman Jagath Jayasinghe, Warakapola PS Chairman Sarath Sumanasuriya, Aranayake PS Opposition Leader W. Jayaratne and many other people’s representatives participated.