Governors and District Secretaries should take the lead in the regional development process, says President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
It is the objective of the Government to see that the people from the villages reap the benefits of development expeditiously, he said.
The President says that this process could not be delayed under any circumstance and that the responsibility of supervising and overseeing all regional development activities would be vested in the Governors and District Secretaries.
The President made these remarks at a discussion with Governors and District Secretaries at the Presidential Secretariat last morning (24), according to President’s Media Division.
“Although provisions have been allocated for some projects, they have not been implemented yet. Some have been postponed. However, the government is paying interest for the loans obtained for these projects. The citizens see them and criticize the government as well as the officials.”
President Rajapaksa added that the needs of the people and what the people expect from the government should be realized in expediting development proposals. The President instructed that all projects which have been already funded but remain inactive and the projects which have come to a halt should commence immediately.
Laws enacted to deal with wrong doers should not be used to victimize an entire population, says President Rajapaksa. In order to implement the necessary laws to arrest fraudsters and crooked businessmen, the officials should go to the village and identify the true issues of the people, he said.
President Rajapaksa noted that those officials who do not go to the village, meet the people and understand their real plight first hand would misinterpret law abiding people as culprits. He further emphasized the importance of not restricting themselves to circulars and acting in accordance with the government policy when meeting the needs of the people.
“When a public issue is placed before officials, he/she should not try to dodge it with another issue or an excuse. When people raise their issues, a theoretical approach might not the way to resolve it. Do not use theories to ignore the issue and slide away.” President advised.
“People’s issues should not be allowed to pass down from generation to generation.” President Rajapaksa said that the government has planned all the development strategies for the well-being of the public and has prioritized a number of other spheres including helping people live their lives happily and environmental development.
“Land utilization in rural areas is irregular. It is important to educate the villagers and guide them to use their home gardens for agricultural purposes. Expansion of community afforestation projects can address a number of environmental issues.” The President instructed the officials to pay attention to this matter.
The District Secretaries stated that the environmental destruction that some people and the media outlets shout about does not occur at the district level in reality and it’s only a media show.
The President stated that he expects to meet with Governors and District Secretaries every month to evaluate the progress of rural development projects and issues that may arise.
Secretary to the President P.B. Jayasundera and Principal Adviser to the President Lalith Weeratunga were also present at the discussion.