President Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday when he came into power he introduced a people friendly manifesto Mahinda Chinthana and told the public if it could be successfully implemented, the benefits would be for the whole country.
People accepted it and rallied round us with new vigour. We never forgot our election promises. Today I have come forward for re-election after completing 98 percent of my promises, he added.
Addressing entrepreneurs and businessmen, bus owners and farmers from the North and East and the North Central Province in Anuradhapura, President Rajapaksa said these gains had been made by alleviating the defeatist mentality which prevailed in the country a few years back.
President Rajapaksa asserted that after the triumph against terrorism, the Government was now ready to make Sri Lanka, South Asia s most prosperous Nation in the near future. The President emphasized that the Government led by him had fulfilled the people s aspirations by defeating the forces of terror and leading the country on the path of development.
The President pointed out that when he took over the people did not have any faith and confidence in their abilities as they thought that the country did not have a future.
They thought that the war could not be won and Prabhakaran could not be defeated. They thought that the country would be divided soon. Farmers were treated shabbily. Support for local agriculture was not given. Then regimes were more concerned on importing luxury food items. As a result farmers resorted to suicide, President Rajapaksa said.
We changed all that in short span of four years. We instilled belief in small scale entrepreneurs and farmers by providing them with all necessities, he said.
We provided fertilizer at the subsidized price of Rs 350 even when it shot upto Rs 9,500. We gave loans at a very low interest, the President added.
Ministers S.M.Chandrasena, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Johnston Fernando, Killinochchi and Mullaitivu Business Community leader M. Ignatius and North Central Chief Minister Berty Premalal Dissanayake also spoke.