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In developing country’s economy:

No foreign powers could dictate to us

‘Our working people are intelligent and patriotic’:

No foreign powers could dictate to us or impose conditions on how to develop our economy, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa addressing a May Day commemoration meeting held at Temple Trees, Colombo yesterday with the participation of constituent parties of the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) under the theme ‘Let us work and build the country’.

“The working people are our backbone and terrorism is a burden for the entire world. The Security Forces have by now destroyed terrorism which was a burden on our country for three decades. In view of the sacrifices made by them, we have still to make many sacrifices,” the President added.

Speaking further the President said: “As long as the working people are with us we are very strong. Our working people are intelligent and patriotic.

Their allegiance to us was proved by the Western Provincial Council (WPC) election results. Some challenged us to take power in the WPC and the people have given a correct answer to them. If we had one more councillor we would have got two thirds’ power.

I know how to get it. We never suppress agitations and strikes of the working people. Some termed this year ‘The Year of struggle’.

But now they are quiet. We made this an election year and as long as the working people are with us there would be no struggles. We won over the working people because we told them the truth, worked sincerely and did what we said we would do.

“What is going on in the North is a struggle to consolidate the right to life of the working and innocent people of this country. It is the responsibility of my Government to resettle as soon as possible, the people who are fleeing from the LTTE and to ensure their right to an unhindered life.

I take responsibility to fulfill the basic needs of not only those who have crossed over but also those who are yet to cross over to Government controlled areas.

“The Tigers are today shooting at Tamil civilians by using weapons purchased from the remittances of the Tamil Diaspora and aid received from foreign powers.

“Those who protest in front of our embassies and stone them as well as the international community should understand this truth.

“Let us unite to develop the country and the Nation in the same manner we united and overcame the tsunami tragedy.

Let us work and set an example to the world. Let us work to become a dignified Nation and a developed country within two three years. I appeal to the Sri Lankan Diaspora to send us foreign exchange and invest in the country.

“My intention is to ensure the livelihood of the people who crossed over before giving political solutions. Let us give them food, shelter, water, electricity, schools, hospitals and ensure dividends of development to them.”

Among the other speakers were Ministers Atauda Seneviratne, Dinesh Gunawardena, Douglas Devananda, Ferial Ashraff, Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan, United May Day Committee Chairman and Western Province Governor Alavi Mowlana, Sri Lanka Independent Trade Union General Secretary Leslie Devendra and Public Services Trade Union Federation President W.H. Piyadasa.

The participants included religious leaders, Ministers Maithripala Sirisena, Nimal Siripala de Silva, Anura Priyadharshana Yapa, leaders of the Constituent parties of the UPFA and a large number of representatives of the working people.

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