- Farmers to get free fertilizer
By Lahiru Pothmulla in Anuradhapura
Kicking off his political campaign in Anuradhapura yesterday, a fired-up SLPP presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa made a heap of pledges to deliver upon winning the election including a pledge to free all military men sent to jail after being charged on false accusations.
At the rally which was attended by SLFP MPs and parliamentarian Ven. Rathana Thera, Mr. Rajapaksa said all farmers’ loans would be written off and they would be provided fertilizer free of charge.
We will give free fertilizer for all farmers and write off the loans they have obtained. On the very next day of becoming President, we will exonerate all military men who had been sent to jail after having been charged on false accusations. We will also create a pension fund for all civil defence force personnel who had served over 20 years,” he said.
Mr. Rajapaksa said they would introduce the latest technologies to agricultural field in order to lure back the youth to farming.
“We will set a fixed price for Paddy, create storage facilities reduce waste, ensure farmers get an increased income. Today, we promised to create an Agricultural sector to entice the youth. We will also look into the kidney disease which is spreading in the region and provide clean water to each and every household,” he said.
The Elephant-human conflict should be paid more attention followed by a solution created after looking into scientific studies, he said. “We also will devise a plan to provide compensation to farmers whose farms were affected and damaged in the human-elephant conflict, drought and flood,” he said.
He said he was often accused of being a ‘military karaya’ or ‘hamuda karaya’ by his political opponents. “We ended the era where military men were called hamuda karaya. At the same time, I would like to remind that it was this military karaya who helped spearhead the war against the LTTE and defeat it. This military karaya brought peace to the country,’’ he said.