Addressing a propaganda rally at Kolonnawa junction on Wednesday, the UPFA Presidential candidate said that unlike the UNP leader, he had not forgotten the journalists in his manifesto, `Mahinda Chintanaya`.
He claimed that Ranil Wickremesinghe had discarded the journalists like the proverbial `karapincha and rampe` in his `People`s Agenda.`
The rally was organised by Bennet Cooray.?My Presidential Election victory is your victory. It is the victory of the toiling masses of this country. It is the victory of this country. Today we attend meetings after presenting our manifesto. We know what the challenges before us are. We formulated the `Mahinda Chintanaya` by obtaining proposals from all who are aware of these challenges. The fundamental challenges are bringing an honourable peace and the granting of rights to all to live without fear in any part of the country. We should end the era where people have to speak from bulletproof cubicles like this, the Premier said.
?We should build up the local economy as well. Thereby development of the country will be speeded up. Our objective is to get everybody to enjoy the benefits of development. The next challenge is to create a disciplined, law-abiding society for children of this country to live in.
We will commence a housing scheme for Colombo with 65,000 houses and also build at least 25 houses in each village. In the `Mahinda Chintanaya` we have not given promises which cannot be fulfilled. We have given promises which could be implemented?, added Mr. Rajapakse.
The Prime Minister reminded the public of most of his achievements, like the establishment of the Vocational Training Authority and building of Fisheries Housing Schemes when he was the Premier.
?We will increase production and grant relief by reducing prices of essential goods, restore public servants` pension rights and grant financial relief for the increasing cost of living,? he added.
Mr. Rajapakse also said that relief granted to farmers was an investment and not a subsidy.
?I will make arrangements for everybody to get a copy of the manifesto. Then you would see that we have covered every sector and proposed things which could be implemented. We have proposed remedies to problems of volunteers in the Police and the three armed services.
Power and Energy Minister Susil Premajayantha said that according to the Mahinda Chintanaya, Rs. 17.50 would be paid for a kilo of paddy and a 50 kilo fertilizer bag would be provided at Rs. 350 each. ?But according to Ranil Wickremesinghe`s People`s Agenda a kilo of paddy is Rs. 17.00 and bag of fertilizer Rs. 550.00 Now he has to amend his agenda and publish advertisements. Mahinda Chinthanaya has also proposed a detailed work programme to cancel farmer loans and grant fresh loans to farmers,? said Minister Premajayantha.
?There are 1.9 million Samurdhi recipients and officers in the country. A 50% increase would be granted and an income of Rs. 5000 would be generated. Rs. 3000 million has been allocated for this in the budget. The private sector employees, local as well as small and medium scale businessmen have been provided with financial facilities and infrastructure facilities? he added.
?But Ranil Wickremesinghe is asking whether this is a manifesto or just thoughts. `Mahinda Chintanaya` has forwarded a vision. A leader of a country needs a clear vision. The background should be prepared to implement the work programme. But Ranil has failed to understand this,` alleged the Power and Energy Minister.