Identify suitable lands for cultivation in all areas on priority basis….

                                    President instructs officials during the “Discussion with the Village” session

Ø  Help farmers to get familiar with technology to increase their harvest..

Ø  Do not sabotage programs benefitting low-income earning families..

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has instructed the respective authorities to immediately call for applications to fill the long-standing vacancies for Maths, Science, English and Computer Technology teachers in schools. New recruitments will be made for existing vacancies in priority subjects on the basis of eight years of compulsory service in the same school to which the initial appointments were made.

“More lands are necessary to increase the cultivation of crops. Therefore we need to identify suitable lands for this purpose. To maximize the yield, the productivity of the lands is also important. Help farmers to get familiar with technology to increase the harvest.” President Rajapaksa emphasized.

The program to employ 100,000 persons from the families of the lowest income strata was implemented with the intention of eradicating poverty. Job recipients will be trained in a number of fields. The President urged not to disrupt this program which was designed for the benefit of the poorest of the poor.

The President expressed these views during the 12th “Discussion with the Village” program yesterday (Feb. 27) at the Kivulekadawala School premises in the Kivulekadawala Grama Niladhari Division, Gomarankadawala Divisional Secretariat in the Trincomalee district.

The “Discussion with the Village” program commenced on September 25, 2020 from Badulla district. Thereafter programs were organized covering Matale, Ratnapura, Anuradhapura, Ampara, Polonnaruwa, Kalutara, Moneragala , Kegalle, Kandy and Puttalam districts. The idea behind this program is for the President to talk to the rural communities living in remote and difficult areas without intermediaries about their long-standing unresolved problems and to present them directly to the officials in order to find solutions.

Problems that can be solved on the spot are instantly addressed. The rest which takes time to deal with are noted down to find solutions later. The objective of the program is to reach out to the people of the village, understand their problems and find solutions giving considerations to their own suggestions.

Gomarankadawala is located 45km away from Trincomalee town on the border of Morawewa, Kuchchaveli, Padavi Sri Pura and Horowpathana areas in the Anuradhapura district. The distance from the center of Gomarankadawala town to Kivulekadawala village is 8km. The Department of Archaeology has identified this village as a location with a number of cultural heritage sites belonging to the Anuradhapura period. Gomarankadawala and surrounding villages were frequently attacked by terrorists before the end of the war in 2009.

Kivulekadawala, Adampane, Kootitikulama and Konabendiwewa villages fall under the limits of Kivulekadawala Grama Niladhari Division. The total population of the Kivulekadawala village is 1191 consisting of 416 families. 125 out of them are Samurdhi beneficiaries. Paddy cultivation is the livelihood of the majority. Maize, Cowpea, Groundnut and vegetables are the other crops they cultivate.

 The President on his way to Kivulekadawala College to participate in the “Discussion with the Village” program inquired the people gathered on roadside about the issues they face in the area while casually engaging in conversation with them. He also had a chat with the people from several nearby houses and asked about the paddy harvest in this season as well. The President explained the farmers that the government has taken steps to purchase paddy with moisture for a price of Rs. 43 that cannot be sold at a minimum price of Rs. 50 per kilo. President Rajapaksa said that farmers are free to sell their paddy either to the government or any other party at their own discretion and the government has not imposed any conditions regarding the matter.

Prior to the commencement of the “Discussion with the Village” session, President declared the “Smart Classroom” open which was completed by the SLT Mobitel and State Ministry of School Infrastructure and School Services in Kivulekadawala School. In addition, the President also presented a television and internet connections provided by the Dialog Axiata to the principal.

President Rajapaksa examined a pair of shoes that generates electricity when walking, invented and designed by Chathura Madhumal, a student of Kantale Ganthalawa Maha Vidyalaya.

The President has decided to improve library facilities in all the schools in the areas where he attends for the “Discussion with the Village” program. The President presented sets of books to schools under the theme “A young generation empowered with knowledge”. Each school receives 500 books which cover a number of diverse streams important for the students.

The threat of wild elephant intrusions has been a major problem for the people of Gomarankadawala for a long time. These villagers were victims of brutality caused by terrorists in the past.

The President instructed the relevant officials to grant deeds to the villagers, who have been displaced as a direct result of the war and returned to their areas of origin, after the dawn of peace. It was decided to hold a Land Kachcheri to resolve land issues in Mahadivulwewa and Divulwewa areas.

It was also decided to appoint an Investigation Committee headed by the District Secretary to provide immediate relief to the people, who have been evicted as a result of the Yan Oya project and remained landless for a long time as well as to resolve other issues.

As a solution to the threat of wild elephant intrusions, it is planned to construct a 67 km long elephant fence covering many areas in the Trincomalee District within the next year. President Rajapaksa directed the Department of Wildlife Conservation to take measures to complete the work expeditiously and to activate the inactive elephant fences in Bakmeegama, Medawachchiya, Thambalagamuwa, Dahaiganuwa and Morawewa villages.

The President stressed the need for the Divisional Secretary, Wildlife Conservation Officers and Farmers’ Organizations to work jointly to construct and protect the elephant fence.

The Gomarankadawala area is considered as one of the areas that lack educational facilities in the island. Many educational issues have arisen due to lack of infrastructure facilities, physical resources and shortage of teachers. ‘Rs. 34 million have been allocated for the construction and renovation of teachers’ quarters in 34 schools in the Trincomalee District and plans have been made to install water filters in 15 schools as a solution to the drinking water issue’, the Secretary to Education Ministry said.

The Secretary further added that steps have been taken to call for applications next week to fill the existing vacancies across the country for teachers in subjects such as Mathematics, English, Science and Computer Technology. It was also stated that it is planned to provide 05 computers to each Pirivenas in the Trincomalee District and to develop playgrounds and infrastructure facilities for students of all Piriven Colleges in the island.

The President instructed the officials to take swift measures to construct an auditorium and classrooms for Kivulekadawala Vidyalaya, to develop the infrastructure facilities of all schools in the district including Gomarankadawala Maha Vidyalaya and to address the issue of shortage of teachers.

The possibility of making Gomarankadawala an education zone and the development of Mahadivulwewa Maha Vidyalaya as a trilingual model school were also discussed.

The President paid special attention to the rehabilitation of the agricultural road network in the area including Adampane-Pulikandikulam, Epagama-Konabendiwewa, Kivulekadawala-Helambawewa, Kattikulam by-roads.

The President directed the Road Development Authority to carpet and develop 41 roads including the road from Tiriyaya Junction to Girihandu Seya Viharaya, Bakmigama-Rangiri Ulpatha and Malporuwa-Pulmude road within the next three years.

The President also emphasized the need to address the shortcomings of many religious places, including the Adampane Khettarama Temple.

The low quality health facilities is another problem faced by the people in the area. It was decided to address the shortage of medical, nursing staff and other staff members in several hospitals including Gomarankadawala Rural Hospital and Kantale Base Hospital, Morawewa, Thambalagamuwa hospitals and to develop other infrastructure facilities as well.  Focusing on the number of kidney patients in the Padavi Sri Pura area, the President stressed the need for the immediate installation of a Blood Dialysis Machine.

The President instructed the officials to renovate the irrigation system including Pulikandikulama tank, Konabendiwewa, Epagama anicut, Thimbiriwewa, Epagama tank and Maha Helamba tank and provide necessary facilities for cultivation purposes.  “Rs. 125 million have been allocated for the rehabilitation of 39 tanks in the area and another 99 tanks will be developed under the program ‘Vari Saubhagya’ (Irrigation Prosperity)” said the Secretary to the Ministry of Irrigation.

The Secretary to the Ministry of Water Supply said that the Adampane water project is planned to solve the drinking water problem in 54 Grama Niladhari Divisions.

Governor of the Eastern Province Anuradha Yahampath, Parliamentarian Kapila Athukorala, Principal Advisor to the President Lalith Weeratunga, People’s Representatives of the District, Secretaries to the Ministries, Heads of Government Institutions and the Security Forces and a large number of people participated in the 12th “Discussion with the Village” program held at Kivulekadawala.