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Dawn and Hopes of New Era



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Gotabaya Rajapaksa being sworn in as President

Sri Lankans filled with many expectations look forward to a prosperous, united and developed nation with the appointment of the new 7th Executive President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The most important thing is that he is the President of the entire country representing all communities and all faiths.


Gotabaya Rajapaksa has done a tremendous work to improve the city of Colombo during his tenure as the Secretary to the Ministry of Defense and Urban Development. The contribution made by him to win the war against the LTTE that dragged on for nearly 30 years was also significant and unprecedented. This is definitely marked in history to be remembered in the years to come.


Hambantota Port with a large area of land surrounding it has already been leased out for a massive 99 years. These types of arrangements to sell or lease government property should be stopped immediately. Even private purchasing of lands by foreigners should be discouraged, as it had been earlier, imposing 100% taxes.


Ministers and MPs should be prevented from swindling public money while involved in business dealings with the government by way of entering into contracts with the government, hiding behind the veil of companies where they are shareholders.


The public would like to know the total amount of allowances being given to the MPs. This should be controlled to minimize unnecessary wasting. During the last hour, 700 employees have been made permanent merely because one presidential term came to an end. These should be investigated, such as their service history and their relationships with MPs. It is a well-known fact that most of the private secretaries and coordinating secretaries are the next of kin of the MPs. Another massive-scale money swindling is giving duty free permits. All the ministers are getting duty free permits while they have been given official cars. One’s use of vehicles should be limited to one. But some ministers are using more than 10 official vehicles and most of the users are their close buddies and family members. This is only a fraction of misuses that has to be looked into.


The amount of money spent for the presidential election was Rs 7.5 billion. Out of 35 candidates, only three candidates were able to secure votes more than 1.0% of the total votes. The rest is merely added to the cost of the presidential election without even being able to get at least 75,000 votes out of 12 million. Therefore, the non-refundable deposit to the presidential election should be made a minimum of 50 million rupees. The parliamentary election and the presidential election should be combined so that the country could save 7.5 billion rupees every five years. This was because, the list that has to be done is much longer than the listing of presidential candidates.


My congratulations to the new President and I wish him all the courage to get this country into its right track after it has gone through five years of poor governance.


DR. ANANDA RANASINGHE


 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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