SL Premier says China built Hambantota Port losses cleared in just three years
COLOMBO ( The Island /ANN ) - Huge losses running into billions of rupees suffered by the Chinese built Hambantota Port under former President Mahinda Rajapaksas rule, were cleared in just three years after the current United National Party (UNP)-led government assumed office in January 2015, says Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
He told a ceremony held earlier this week to pay compensation to farmers in the Kurunegala District affected by crop failure last year, that Mahinda Rajapaksa had called an early Presidential Election in 2015, because under his administration between 2005 and 2014, the economy had collapsed and many state institutions including the Hambantota Port had gone bankrupt.
Outlining some of the work the current government had done, Wickremesinghe said that they had cleared the outstanding debts and revived the Hambantota port in just three years. "The Rajapaksas did not allocate enough funds for education and health, saying there was no money. When we asssumed office,funds were found to establish the Lagama Pasal Hodama Pasal - Closest school is the Best School programme, compulsory thirteen year education for children, tabs for students in the final two years of their schooling. We also developed the hospitals by providing new equipment and free stents and the Suva Seriya ambulance service. The price of essential medicines were reduced by margins never seen before."
He observed that despite the war having ended in 2009, there was no peace and reconciliation in the country. It was after the UNP-led National Government was established in January 2015, that the fear psychosis was eliminated and people were able to breath with a sense of freedom and peace, due to the process of reconciliation that was set in motion through implementation of a series of measures.
The Podujana Peramunas Presidential candidate Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and his brother Mahinda Rajapaksa were asking the people for another five year term, but can they achieve in five years, what they couldn’t do in ten years, the Prime Minister queried.
He said it was obvious that the Rajapaksas wanted to recapture power to recreate their era of loss making state institutions, plundering of state resources, interference in all public institutions including the Police and judiciary, fear psychosis, tension and conflicts among communities and unleash white vans to abduct and kill their critics including journalists.