Skip to Content

Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2490

A New Dawn development proposal for North while liberating them from terrorists

Colombo, 09 December, (Asiantribune.com): Sri Lanka President anounced of a New Dawn development proposal New Spring, to the North of Sri Lanka while liberating the people of the North from the Yoke of terror.

Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse said, "Now, in addition to the Negenahira Navodaya or New Dawn in East we are ready to launch the New Spring in the North. This is the New Spring of development in the North. We have already taken steps to free the people of the North who have been under the yoke of terror for so many years and launch developments for them in those areas. Our troops are not only gaining territory and liberating the people, they are also moving ahead with development of those areas. We need to allocate funds for these. However, this is no reason to cut down relief to the people." President Mahinda Rajapaksa addressing after inaugurating the “Yugadanvi “Combined Cycle Power Plant at Kerawalapitiya, Wattala. President Mahinda Rajapaksa addressing after inaugurating the “Yugadanvi “Combined Cycle Power Plant at Kerawalapitiya, Wattala.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa addressing in his address at the opening of the Kerawalapitiya Power Station today said, “We will liberate this country from the clutches of terrorism. We will raise the standard of living of all our people, and establish a society where all can live without fear or mistrust. We will strengthen the rural people,” he said

"Governments should be defeated by the people’s vote. The terrorists in the North are trying tm overthrow the government by the gun. Similarly, there are others who instead of defeating a government by the ballot, are trying to defeat it by cutting off the sources of government revenue. They hope to gain power by blocking the means of revenue for the government, and pushing the people from the frying pan to the fire. Their greatest effort is to obtain court decisions aimed at reducing taxes to reduce the government’s revenue," the President added.President Mahinda Rajapaksa arriving to inaugurate “Yugadanvi “Combined Cycle Power Plant at Kerawalapitiya, Wattala on 9th December. Minister John Senewirathne, Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Secretary to the Ministry of Power and Energy, Chief Executive Officer West Coast Power Pvt.Ltd  also participated in that occasionPresident Mahinda Rajapaksa arriving to inaugurate “Yugadanvi “Combined Cycle Power Plant at Kerawalapitiya, Wattala on 9th December. Minister John Senewirathne, Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Secretary to the Ministry of Power and Energy, Chief Executive Officer West Coast Power Pvt.Ltd also participated in that occasion

Here is the full text of the address by Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the ceremonial opening of the Kerawalapitiya Combined Cycle Power Station"

"I am pleased at having the opportunity to participate in the opening of this project, because it marks the handing over to the people of an important task that was launched by us.

When we took over the country it faced many challenges. One was the problem caused by giving title to half of the country to terrorists. There were areas where our troops, our police could not enter, but the terrorists could come to other areas. That was the agreement. Due to the North and East being joined and ceded to terrorists, not only civilians and officials but the Prime Minister of the country too had to obtain the permission of the terrorists to move in these areas. Even to visit a religious shrine such as Madhu that was in those areas, one had to get the permission of the terrorist leader. The light of freedom of the people in this land had been put out.

Among the other major problems was that of power and energy. It was a time when there were power cuts for two to three hours each day. Even after a full year’s rain, if there were a few months of dry weather there were power cuts. The clock was set back, and we established world records with such power cuts.

The leaders of this country lacked the ability to take courageous political decisions not only with regard to the war but with regard to the country’s development, too. Norochcholai was to be constructed in the 1980s. Due to the inability to take firm decisions work on this coal fired power project was set aside for 20 years. It was the same with the Upper Kotmale power project. Work on it was delayed for 10 to 15 years due the inability to take clear decisions. The mentality of those in power then was to judge everything from how it would result in the next election. Will we lose a bundle of votes if we took a decision? Will I win? What will the people think of me? When leaders keep thinking like that it is not possible to develop the country. Even if the development necessary for the country was not done, they were satisfied if they went to parliament again.

It is time to be rid of this mind set. We cannot keep the people in the dark because of failure to take proper decisions. That is why we have taken these bold decisions to develop the country and also defeat terrorism. Such decisions should be taken with the future generations in mind, and not the next election, or the pressures that may come from other countries. If the government and leaders do not take clear and firm decisions, the people are destined to be in the dark forever.

Friends,

If at that time there were firm decisions on the construction of power stations, there would be no power crisis in the country. We would be a country that generates power at very low cost.  President observing the Sea-water purification plant in connection with the power plant project site.  Picture shows Project Manager Mr.Dammika Nayayakkara explaining the project plan, Minister John Senivaratne  also in the Picture (Pix; Chandana Perera) President observing the Sea-water purification plant in connection with the power plant project site. Picture shows Project Manager Mr.Dammika Nayayakkara explaining the project plan, Minister John Senivaratne also in the Picture (Pix; Chandana Perera)

Yet, my friends, through a period of three years we have not imposed power cuts. Because we took quick and firm decisions there is no need for power cuts in the country again.

Just now the Norochcholai and Upper Kotmale power stations are under construction. When these projects are completed our country will have a power generating capacity of 750MW. Our expectation is by 2010 to 2012 to supply electricity at the lowest possible cost to all of the people of this country. This will be the lowest cost of electricity in all of Asia. We will be able to achieve this because of our ability to take bold and courageous decisions both against terrorism and for development.

This Kerawalapitiya Power Station was constructed in one year. This is the largest combined cycle power station in the country.

This is a project that had been abandoned as being impractical. The Asian Development Bank could not build it. Later, the private sector to which the work was handed over could also not build it. Yet, our engineers, and officials of the Ministries of Power and Finance, had a commitment to its construction. I pay a tribute to all the officers who worked with commitment to complete this project, and to the genius of the local engineers that saw how it could be done. We obtained machinery and equipment from friendly countries such as Germany, France and the USA at a cost of US$ 300 million and completed its construction in less than one year. It is known there were many who obstructed this effort.

This is a project designed by our own engineers and built with their own strength and capability. This had no foreign consultants. We found the money for this by ourselves. Today, we have cause to be proud as a nation for having successfully completed this great task with no burden to the country. There was a time when power stations such as Randenigala and Rantembe were opened one heard a great din about it throughout the country. There were posters, banners, and pandals all over. The drum beats of development were heard all over for several months.

But today within one year when we are declaring open the largest combined cycle power station in Sri Lanka, there is no tom-tom beating about it, except the drums of greeting at this ceremony. If massive development

projects such as this were completed in the past they would have been singing their praises for two to three years, until they go out of office. There is no need for such hosannas today; it is our achievements that earn us fame.

We see development everywhere today; in every district. While we open this project at Kerawalapitiya, within sight from here is the Colombo Port expansion project with a new breakwater, which too will be completed next year. In the South, a new port is under construction at Hambantota. The coal-fired power station being built at Norochcholai will also be handed over to the people around the time next year, as would the Hambantota Port, too. Also under construction is a hydro-power plant at Upper Kotmale, and the Southern Expressway. In close proximity to Kerawalapitiya work will also begin on the Katunayake Expressway. Throughout the country massive bridges, flyovers and many highways are under construction. The Moragahakanda reservoir, that was also put off just as this project, as being impractical and for lack of funds, is also making progress.

The Uma Oya Development Project has been launched. Not only at the broad national level, but at the village level too we have built new roads, provided electricity, water supply schemes and small irrigation systems. Last Sunday, modern equipment for the treatment of cancer costing Rs 500 million was given to the people’s ownership at the Maharagama Cancer Hospital. All of this is social development work that had been neglected allegedly for lack of funds. No property or assets of the state were privatized to finance any of these projects. We do not sell any assets of the state and the people. Unlike those days we did not sell our assets for consumption. What we do is accumulate assets for the people. Kerawalapitiya is also one such asset of the people.
Friends,

The most developed countries in the world have caught economic pneumonia. Not only are thousands thrown out of employment, but huge banking institutions have gone bankrupt. Day by day the financial markets are crashing. There is foreclosure on mortgaged homes. Employees are being retrenched from industries. The world economy has faces a setback for nearly two years, according to economists. The past two years were very unfortunate for us too. The price of fuel rose to nearly US $150. If we had raised our prices proportionately the price of a litre of diesel would have been Rs 152 and kerosene Rs 129. Yet, we raised the price of diesel to Rs 110 and kerosene to Rs. 80, only.

Although there is a profit of Rs 07 from petrol, this is does not offset the loss on diesel and kerosene. Fertilizer that cost Rs 6000 continued to be supplied to cultivators at Rs. 350. This was done while raising the salaries of public servants every year. Today there has been a near twofold increase in the salaries of public servants. There have been 300,000 new jobs created. We have added value to paddy, sorghum, potato and local industry and developed them. We are moving towards the target of self-sufficiency in our food. We have taken measures to increase milk production. All these have brought higher income to the farmers. This is our policy.

Now, in addition to the Negenahira Navodaya or New Dawn in East we are ready to launch the New Spring in the North. This is the New Spring of development in the North. We have already taken steps to free the people of the North who have been under the yoke of terror for so many years and launch developments for them in those areas. Our troops are not only gaining territory and liberating the people, they are also moving ahead with development of those areas. We need to allocate funds for these. However, this is no reason to cut down relief to the people.

Just as we raised the price of fuel when it was going up in the world, we gave relief when it came down. From the time of the budget there have been reductions of Rs 25 in the price of a litre of petrol, Rs. 30 for diesel, Rs. 20 for kerosene, and Rs 20 for fuel used in industry. If all of this is calculated it amounts to nearly Rs. 11,000 crores.

It is necessary to pay due attention to recover at least part of the revenue the country lost when the price of fuel went up, and reduce the loss to some extent. The necessity of moving away from processes that that are heavily dependent of fossil fuel is accepted internationally today. We must reduce excessive consumption of fuel, and reduce the amount of fuel we import.

It is especially necessary to safeguard the Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery by obtaining crude oil for refining there and producing the fuel needs for the country. If not, the fate that befell the Paper Corporation, the Thulhiriya and Veyangoda textile mills, and to the cultivators of potatoes, onions, sorghum and paddy during the last government will happen to the Petroleum Corporation and the CEB too. We cannot allow the collapse of state institutions as happened in the past.

Today, with the global economic crisis the price of oil has dropped further. This is a great relief to our country. Similar to the price of oil, the foreign exchange that we have to spend for fertilizer, foodstuffs, and raw materials in the coming year will be reduced. When this happens there will be the opportunity to increase government revenue without unduly burdening the people. It is our endeavour to keep the present prices of petrol, diesel and kerosene for nearly one year at the same level. With this it will be possible to offset the losses of last year and gain the strength to go ahead with our development work.

The Mahinda Chinthana will not be trapped in monthly pricing formulae. That is the approach of the previous governments. It is because that policy was wrong that the people accepted the policies of the Mahinda Chinthana. What we are implementing is a pricing policy that protects both the producer and consumer, and also strengthens the economy. But some are trying hard to derail these efforts, push the people into the fire and grab the government the reins of power for themselves.

Governments should be defeated by the people’s vote. The terrorists in the North are trying tm overthrow the government by the gun. Similarly, there are others who instead of defeating a government by the ballot, are trying to defeat it by cutting off the sources of government revenue. They hope to gain power by blocking the means of revenue for the government, and pushing the people from the frying pan to the fire. Their greatest effort is to obtain court decisions aimed at reducing taxes to reduce the government’s revenue.

Those who go to court today to bring relief to the people from the burden of taxes did not give a single job in the public service in their day. They insulted the judiciary; they brought the courts to ridicule. They attacked the homes of judges with stones. They brought a motion in parliament to impeach three judges of the Supreme Court. It is they who today seek the help of the courts for themselves. We are not like that. We respect the courts. When we have to face decisions of the courts that go against us, we accept such decisions. We are aware that every six years we have to go before the people and face their own verdict. This is the same for members of parliament, too. We cannot betray the people. When we govern with due respect to the courts, it is also necessary to take decisions, taking into consideration all aspects of the economy and development needs.

When we sought to obtain 8000 billion from an international bank for development of the East, the Leader of the Opposition led a demonstration outside that bank asking that those funds not be given to the country. Carrying out strategies to reduce government revenue is a further step in the same policy. This is what the terrorists also seek. There is no difference between setting up bombs to destroy public property and conspiring to reduce government revenue. This clearly shows the situation in

which the members of the opposition are in today. They do everything to deny the government of its revenue. It is necessary that he people understand this situation very well.

These are not things done with any feeling for the people. These are strategies to hurt the people and grab power for themselves. If they get power into their hands by 2012 not only this Kerawalapitiya Power Station but most of what we have built will also be sold to foreign companies. There must be those already having dreams of the biggest bidder to whom they will sell this Kerawalapitiya Project if they come to power in 2012.They are doing everything possible to ensure that by 2012 instead of electricity for all, the people will be in eternal darkness.

Friends,

This government is moving forward while implementing to the very letter and in spirit the promises given in the Mahinda Chinthana. In out third budget too we have not changed an iota from the promises we gave in the Mahinda Chinthana. The Opposition is today unable to ask whether we have carried out our promises or not, because we are taking the country forward as we had stated in the Mahinda Chinthana. We will liberate this country from the clutches of terrorism. We will raise the standard of living of all our people, and establish a society where all can live without fear or mistrust. We will strengthen the rural people. I am certain that the as much as the light from the bulbs that will glow from the power generated in this Kerawalapitiya Power Station, and the electricity from other projects such as Upper Kotmale and Norochcholai too, will light up your lives, it will also make brighter the future of our country. This is a wish that I share with you."

- Asian Tribune -

Share this


.