President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has emphasized that his government has no intention of hiding the report of the Presidential Commission on the Easter Sunday attack. The President says that there are no negotiations in this matter with any person or party and he does not expect to appease anyone either.

The Easter Sunday attack is a national issue. It should not be made a political theme. The victims of this attack are entitled to a proper and accurate investigation into the cause of their tragedy. Archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith’s agony and his genuine concern regarding this matter is justifiable.The President points out that it is sad and hilarious that the politicians of the former government who were silent at the time of the attack are raising black flags now.

The Easter attack took place in 2019 when the previous government was in power. Disillusioned with the wrong policies of the then government, the people demonstrated their anger to the then government in the cooperative elections as well as in the local government elections in February 2018. The President notes that he didn’t come to power exploiting the Sunday Easter attacks.

For the government in power before 2015, national security was a top priority. Those who came to power in 2015 ignored national security. No matter what human rights allegations are made, the defence policy that was in effect before 2015 is back in operation.

The President emphasized that the government is responsible for the national security of the country. President Rajapaksa says that there is no room for separatist terrorism or Islamic extremism and strongly rejects all baseless allegations.

The President expressed these views during the 13th ‘Discussion with the Village’ programme held at the Maduragama grounds in the Weragala Grama Niladhari Division, Giribawa Divisional Secretariat in the Kurunegala District on Saturday (6).

The ‘Discussion with the Village’ programme commenced on September 25, 2020 from the Badulla district. Thereafter programmes were organized covering the Matale, Ratnapura, Anuradhapura, Ampara, Polonnaruwa, Kalutara, Moneragala, Kegalle, Kandy, Puttalam and Trincomalee districts. The idea behind this programme 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 programme is to reach out to the people of the village, understand their problems and find solutions giving considerations to their own suggestions.

The Giribawa Divisional Secretariat is located 27 km away from Galgamuwa town, bordering the Anuradhapura district in the north and the Puttalam district in the West. The distance from the centre of the Giribawa town to Weragala village is three kilometres. Weragala has been identified as the poorest and the most difficult Grama Niladhari Division out of the 35 Grama Niladhari Divisions in the Giribawa Divisional Secretariat.

The villages of Weragala and Maduragama fall under the Weragala Grama Niladhari Division. According to folklore it is the village where Prince Saliya accompanied Asoka Mala and hid, and it came to be known as Hangogama and later Maduragama. The history of Weragala Raja Maha Vihara dates back to King Walagamba’s era. The two villages of Weragala and Maduragama comprising 149 families have a total population of 449. Cultivation of paddy, sesame, maize, cowpea, mung and undu are the main livelihoods of the people.

On the way to the Maduragama ground from the Giribawa public ground to attend the ‘Discussion with the Village’ programme, the President spoke with the people gathered on both sides of the road and inquired into issues and difficulties they face in the area.

The ‘Deyata Eliya’ programme to supply electricity to all rural households without electricity envisioned in the national policy framework ‘Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour’ was launched under the patronage of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in parallel to the ‘Discussion with the Village’ programme at Weragala, Giribawa, on Saturday.

The ‘Deyata Eliya’ programme will provide electricity to all Samurdhi beneficiaries and the low-income families in the Samurdhi waiting list. The Ceylon Electricity Board will provide the connection free of charge and for the wiring of the houses, the Samurdhi Bank plans to facilitate concessionary loans. The government expects to provide electricity to all the identified houses before the end of this year.

Divyanjali Elwaladeniya, a Grade 7 student of U.B. Wanninayake Vidyalaya, Galgamuwa presented her book Kiriatthage Sihinaya to the President.

Another objective of President Rajapaksa is to improve school library facilities in all areas where the ‘Discussion with the Village’ programme is held. The President presented sets of books to schools under the theme ‘A generation empowered with knowledge’. Each school receives 500 books covering a number of disciplines to assist students in their further education.