State Minister of Trade S. Viyalanderan, expressed the need for Tamil political leaders to collaborate with President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s flexible approach to achieve national unity and address the challenges faced by the Tamil population.
State Minister Viyalanderan emphasized that the economic difficulties experienced by the people during the recent past have begun to see some relief. He stressed the importance of everyone rallying behind the continuous and effective advancement of the President-led government’s program aimed at a complete economic recovery for the nation.
State Minister Viyalanderan made these remarks during a press briefing held at the Presidential Media Centre on the 17th, under the theme ‘Collective Path to a stable country’.
The State Minister further elaborated:
“The country is gradually emerging from its economic downturn, but the process is not yet complete. We cannot claim that the financial burden on the people has been entirely lifted. However, considerable progress has been made in mitigating the hardships faced by the people during the preceding economic crisis. Further measures are required to alleviate these hardships.
Relevant ministries, led by President Ranil Wickremesinghe, are diligently working towards this objective. The effort must be on-going and highly efficient, requiring collective engagement. As the Minister of State overseeing this matter, it is our responsibility to further reduce the prices of essential commodities in the country.
The escalation in the cost of essential goods directly impacts the everyday lives of the people in our country. Thus, it is imperative to lower the prices of commodities to meet the public’s expectations. Recognizing this, the Ministry of Commerce is taking decisive steps to ensure the availability of essential goods at affordable prices.
Despite price reductions in many essential goods, certain traders have yet to adjust their pricing. Some items continue to be sold at higher rates. Consequently, we have instructed the officials of the Consumer Affairs Authority to initiate legal action against those responsible.
In addition to economic challenges, we are actively working to find resolutions to the ethnic issues and foster national harmony. In this context, President Wickremesinghe has convened multiple rounds of discussions with members of both the ruling and opposition parties, both inside and outside parliament, to deliberate on matters such as the 13th Amendment and related topics. These discussions are on-going, with diverse opinions being voiced. However, our commitment remains to meet the expectations of the people.
It is worth noting that President Ranil Wickremesinghe has appointed a Tamil person as the Governor of the Eastern Province for the first time. We express gratitude to the President for this significant step. The current President is particularly dedicated to addressing the concerns of the Tamil community and President Wickremesinghe’s flexibility provides an opportunity for Tamil leaders to engage in constructive dialogue to resolve our issues. This should be regarded as their shared responsibility.
We must actively involve Tamil leaders and civil society activists in discussions concerning our challenges. This process must be expedited.
It is essential to acknowledge that, within the brief period available, we have initiated numerous projects. Furthermore, we will continue implementing development initiatives, including road construction, bridge projects and improvements in agriculture and fisheries, as well as enhancing the livelihoods of our citizens. Measures have also been taken to combat unauthorized sand mining in the Eastern Province, with a focus on environmental preservation and resource conservation.”