President Mahinda Rajapaske said he would not allow anyone to lead the people astray and to revert the country to the bullock–cart era.
Addressing a meeting at the Dambulla Economic Centre he said the government’s development process targeted the forward march of the country with sophisticated facilities including a modernised road network and other facilities to fall in line with the developed world.
“The government is prepared to face any challenge in this endeavour. It is unavoidable that there are rivals who attempt to sabotage the development activities. Rural politicians who wanted the roads to be paved with gravel, today request to concrete the roads. They have realised that the country today was entirely different from yesterday due to the ongoing development process.
“My government always looks into the problems of the farmers. When Minister Janaka Bandara informed me about the problems facing the big onion farmers, I immediately ordered the purchase of big onion for a guaranteed price.
“In 2006 the people did not make such requests from me. Their only request was to save them from terrorism.
“Dambulla had been a border village where the people lived in constant fear of terrorist attacks.
“In 2010 I received the people’s mandate to develop the country. Development would uplift the standard of living of the people. Very soon one will be able to make a journey to Colombo after his breakfast and return to Colombo for his midday meal after getting his things done.
“This is due to the ongoing development. Those who resort to mud-slinging and attempt to tarnish the image of patriots who saved do not have a country or nation. They are motivated by hatred and revenge,” he said.
Minister of Land and Land Development Janaka Bandara Thennakoon and several others addressed the gathering.