PIC BY PRADEEP PATHIRANA
By Yohan Perera
New Democratic Front (NDF) candidate Sajith Premadasa yesterday pledged to introduce an expanded version of his late father Ranasinghe Premadasa’s industrialization concept by setting up a factory in every divisional secretariat area if elected.
He told an election rally at Deraniyagala that he would see to it that people in the villages will benefit from his industrialization programme.
“I came past the Maliban Garments Factory which was set up under my father’s 200 garment factory programme. I was happy to note that more than 3,000 people are benefiting from the programme. I pledge to launch an extensive industrialization programme compared to what my father introduced,” Mr. Premadasa said.
He also pledged to increase the wages of the people in the estate sector.
“As I understand, an estate worker is currently paid Rs.700 a day. They get to work a maximum of 20 days a month and as such earn only Rs.15,000 but according to the data published by the Department of Census and Statistics a family of four needs a minimum of Rs.55,000 for food and other requirements. Therefore, I will ensure that the people in the estate sector will be paid more,” Mr. Premadasa said. “Some media institution do not inform the people what I promise to give them. They are afraid that the candidate whom they support will be affected if people get to know what I promise to give the people. There is no issue if they don’t give publicity to me as I will tell the people what I am going to do at every election rally I address.”
He said he was not a candidate who would allow himself to be controlled by another person but would work independently.
“I will not allow myself to be controlled by anyone else whether as a presidential candidate or when elected president of this country. However my rival candidate is controlled by someone else. He is not allowed to speak to the media because they fear he will say something which will affect their camp,” Mr. Premadasa said.