The country is built not for us but for future generations
If the opposition had supported the government during the economic crisis, the country could have been saved from bankruptcy a few months ago.
President Ranil Wickremesinghe emphasized that the nation is designed with a long-term perspective, focusing on the well-being of future generations rather than the present.
Nonetheless, the President expressed concern that the opposition seems primarily self-oriented. He suggested that the most effective route for them to attain power is through collaboration with the government. By actively participating and leveraging the experience gained from such collaboration, the opposition can strive to attain governmental authority in the upcoming election, contributing to the overall progress of the nation.
In a meeting convened yesterday afternoon (25), President Ranil Wickremesinghe addressed the Political Authority in Matale District at the Matale District Secretariat Auditorium.
The gathering included representatives from the Matale District Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna, United National Party and Labour Congress, all of whom engaged in discussions with the President concerning the challenges they currently encounter.
During the discourse, President Wickremesinghe not only acknowledged the issues raised by the attendees but also took proactive measures to offer immediate solutions to specific problems.
In response to the recent economic challenges, President Ranil Wickremesinghe acknowledged that, in the absence of any immediate volunteers to steer the country, he assumed responsibility at the behest of the ruling party. Expressing gratitude, the President recalled the unwavering support extended to him by all political parties across the nation.
President Wickremesinghe highlighted that, under his leadership, the nation successfully navigated toward the correct course, achieving economic stability. Despite uncertainty from opposition politicians who asserted a prolonged recovery period of five years, the President emphasized that the country was effectively rescued from the brink of economic crisis within a remarkably brief span of 16 months.
Additionally, the President underscored that had the opposition politicians rallied behind the government during the economic crisis, the nation could have averted bankruptcy several months prior.
Despite this, local political authorities commended the initiatives spearheaded by President Ranil Wickremesinghe, expressing a commitment to extend unwavering support to the program in the future.
President Ranil Wickremesinghe offered additional remarks, stating, “In 2021, our nation encountered an economic problem, and by 2022, it had evolved into a full-blown crisis. During this period, all facets of the country experienced a standstill, resulting in financial losses and diminished income. Simultaneously, developmental projects ground to a halt, compounded by the fact that being a financially bankrupt nation, we lost foreign aid.
During that challenging period, no individuals stepped forward to shoulder the responsibility for the country. In response, I willingly assumed that responsibility, consciously distancing myself from those who merely claimed to possess solutions for the nation’s issues. Collaboration with groups across the political spectrum, irrespective of affiliations, played a pivotal role in navigating this endeavour.
Upon assuming this responsibility, numerous individuals predicted a four to five-year timeline for the reconstruction of the ailing economy. Facing such uncertainty, a significant number even opted to leave the country, convinced that a viable solution was indefinite. Presently, active negotiations are underway with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other nations. With these on-going efforts, it is anticipated that by the year’s end, the nation will no longer bear the burden of the bankruptcy label.
The comprehensive initiatives undertaken thus far have spanned a period of 16 months. Notably, had the opposition extended their support, this endeavour could have been expedited by an additional two to three months.
Our journey has been marked by challenges, yet we have achieved significant milestones. Commencing next year, we have successfully implemented an allowance of Rs. 10,000 for government employees, a feat that many deemed doubtful. Furthermore, similar to the enhancement in ‘Samurdhi’ benefits, the ‘Aswesuma’ allowance has seen a threefold increase. These initiatives were undertaken with the intention of providing support for the advancement of small and medium-scale projects.
However, my commitment to alleviating the hardships faced by the people extends beyond monetary support. Recognizing the country’s agricultural sector as a cornerstone, a substantial modernization program has been conceived. The inaugural phase of this modernization initiative centres on providing ownership, with plans to commence the distribution of free deeds to individuals holding permits under the Land Ordinance Act in February. I have directed the coordination of these activities to the District Development Committees, seeking the collective support of all for the success of this initiative. This program represents an achievement that transcends mere words; it required collaborative effort and collective dedication to transform ideas into action.
Our paramount responsibility is to forge a promising future for the youth of our nation, crafting a legacy not for our immediate gratification but for the prosperity of generations to come. Our collective mission is to construct a nation that stands as a testament to our commitment to the well-being of our children and their children. However, it is disheartening that the opposition seems fixated on self-interest, solely preoccupied with the pursuit of power. I convey to the opposition that the most effective route to wielding power lies in collaborative efforts with our administration. I urge them to consider joining forces with us, leveraging the wealth of experience we have accumulated. By aligning with our shared goals and vision, they can gain valuable insights that will serve them well in their pursuit of leadership. Let us transcend political divides and work collectively to advance the nation. Together, we can move forward, building a stronger and more prosperous country for all.
The event was attended by notable figures such as State Minister for Defense Pramitha Bandara Thennakoone, State Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs Rohana Dissanayake, Central Province Governor Lalith U. Gamage, Member of Parliament Janaka Bandara Thennakoone, Matale District Coordination Committee Chairman Member of Parliament Nalaka Bandara Kottegoda, Secretary to the President Saman Ekanayake and Central Provincial Council Chairman Mr. D. Nimalasiri.