*Economy should be strengthened more to protect, promote country s sovereignty
*Govt focused equal attention on terrorism eradication and country s development
President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said that he will take firm steps to counter attempts made by anyone to create anarchy in the country. Addressing a meeting to mark the 18th anniversary of the Private Tea Factory Owners Association at the Inter Continental Hotel yesterday, the President said he is prepared to defeat any conspiracies such as creation of artificial food shortages in the country, on behalf of the people.
President Rajapaksa stressed that the economy should be strengthened more and more to protect and promote the country s sovereignty. All forces which we had focused on the eradication of terrorism have now been diverted to national development, he said.
He said the Government focused equal attention on the eradication of terrorism and the country s development while managing the country s economy effectively.
We had to manage the perception of the international community towards the eradication of terrorism, he said.
The freedom which we are enjoying today is dependent on our capability to protect and promote it, President Rajapaksa said. The President said he gave an assurance to the people that terrorism would be eradicated in the country and an environment would be created where people of all communities could live in peace. I was determined to fulfil that pledge and now people can talk of national freedom.
President Rajapaksa said that the Government had to continue the efforts to eradicate terrorism amidst various challenges.
Plantations Industries Minister D.M. Jayaratne and Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena also spoke.