President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Wednesday vowed to eradicate the drug menace come what may.
?Our promise to put a stop to drunkenness is being implemented courageously in spite of opposition. We should build a better society for children to live in. That is our responsibility, it is the responsibility of the parents,? said the President speaking at a public rally held at the Kegalle Town Hall on Wednesday.
Mr. Rajapaksa said within a period of four months of being elected President, several of the promises made in the Mahinda Chintanaya were fulfilled.
The President also said that he is prepared to take forward the promises to construct a new Sri Lanka. He mentioned with gratitude the cooperation extended by the 18 political parties including the JVP and the JHU in this regard.
?We took immediate action to sell fertilizer at Rs. 300 a bag. We implemented the mid-day meal for school children. A nutrition food parcel to expectant mothers was also implemented. We also implemented the Rs. 200 offer for milk to small children,? President reminded.
He said action was taken to increase salaries of 800,000 government servants. ?We were able to increase the minimum salary of the public service to Rs. 11,600 and would not hesitate to pay a good salary to all people in the country,? he said adding that the government hopes to create a responsible efficient public service in the country.
Speaking on the brain drain, the President said that it could be stopped only if they are recognized by the country and promised to take action to stop it. Educated people should be afforded an opportunity to serve the country, he said.
?As I assumed office bombs were exploded in the North. I was branded as a war President. It is not the responsibility of one leader or one party to solve the ethnic problem. It is the collective responsibility of all,? the President said.
He said profits of development should not be restricted to certain areas or provinces, hence the commencement of Maga Neguma and Gama Neguma programmes. He touched on the importance of new power projects in Trincomalee and Norochocholai.
?Do not allow the administration of the village and the Central Government to pull in opposite directions. If it happens the `gama` will lose,? the President said adding that he was sure the trust people placed in him during the past would be placed in him at the mini elections as well.
Chief minister Mahipala Herath, Minister Atauda Seneviratne and North Central Governor Jagath Balasuriya also spoke.