Blamed For Development
Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa was recently disgruntled that the government never seemed to be commended for the many development projects carried out. In some instances they were even blamed for development.
Rajapaksa was engaged in discussing the development programmes outlined by the Ministry to be carried out next year with the funds allocated in the 2012 budget.
He has held several discussions with various government ministers bout these projects.
Rajapaksa has planned a massive rural development programme where a development project would be launched in every village next year.
“Even after doing all this, the opposition parties do not recognise the work,” he has told the ministers.
In fact he has said the government continues to be blamed for almost everything even when development work has been successfully completed.
Citing an example, Rajapaksa has said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa had recently attended an event where the Head of the Vidyalankara Pirivena, Ven. Velamitiyawe Kusaladhamma Thero was also present.
The Thero had told the President that he had managed to get the authorities to renovate and carpet the road that leads to his village, which was in a very bad condition.
However, after the road was renovated, a man from the village had met with an accident and succumbed to his injuries.
“After the accident, the villagers started to blame the renovation of the road as the cause of the accident,” the monk had said.
He had observed that the villagers believed that the accident could have been prevented if the road was not motorable and in bad shape.
“This is the plight of the government’s development projects,” Rajapaksa has said.
A Corporation For Vegetables
President Mahinda Rajapaksa had to recently intervene to resolve a crisis over the laws on packing fruits and vegetables for transportation.
The President had to meet with the farmers and traders to resolve the issue. During the meeting the President managed to suspend the law for a period of one month.
However, while discussing issues related to the agriculture sector, representatives from the farmers’ associations had complained about issues faced by them due to actions of the traders’ associations.
The farmers had said the traders took a 10 percent commission on the vegetables sold and also cheated when weighing the goods.
After listening intently for a while, the President had said that he was unable to resolve all the issues faced by the farmers.
Finally he had said, “Please do not do these things. If so, I will have to start a Corporation for vegetables like the Fisheries Corporation and put in place a state mechanism to sell vegetables as well.”
UNP Lawyers Misled
The UNP lawyers were recently misled by information received that parliamentarian Buddhika Pathirana had filed legal action against the party.
Information received by the party headquarters, Siri Kotha, had been that Pathirana was planning on filing legal action against the party.
After hearing about the matter, lawyers representing the party had immediately visited the court complex in Hulfsdorp.
Pathirana, had, however not turned up in courts that day although the lawyers had stood at the courthouse for hours.
In fact Pathirana had attended Parliament sessions that day and had been going about his normal routine unaware of this matter.
He had then informed that he had no intention of taking legal action against the party.
However, it had later been found out that the UNP lawyers had been misled by a rumour.
The conflict between the party leadership and Pathirana has now been resolved with the intervention of Party Secretary Tissa Attanayake.
“We Will Protect Ranil”
Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne last week said the government would protect UNP Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe and the party head quarters, Sirikotha.
Responding to a statement made by Wickremasinghe that his life was under threat, Jayaratne told Parliament that the government would protect him and Siri Kotha.
The Premier said that the government would provide security and that the government if required could also help renovate the damaged party head quarters and provide monies to treat the wounded.
“We will protect Ranil Wickremasinghe and the party headquarters,” Jayaratne said.
Only The Chairman Votes
The 2012 budgets of local government bodies headed by the governing UPFA continue to be defeated.
The governing party members continue to violate directives issued by the UPFA leadership that they should not violate party decisions.
However, the governing UPFA members were rather surprised to hear of the defeat of the budget presented in the Sooriyawewa Pradeshiya Sabha in the Hambantota District.
Only the Chairman of the Pradeshiya Sabha had voted in favour of the budget.
Out of the four UPFA members, three had voted against the budget with the UNP councilor.
When the vote was taken on the budget, it revealed that four members had voted against the budget while one member had voted in favour of it.
Meanwhile, the 2012 budget presented to the UPFA led Embilipitiya Urban Council had also been defeated last week.
Three councilors had voted in favour of the budget while four members had opposed it. Among those who had opposed the budget is the UPFA member and Deputy Chairman of the Council.