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General elections only in 2020: President

1 August 2017 07:49 pm - 22     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The next general elections will be held in three years and those attempting to destabilize the country and disrupt public life through protests and strikes must realize they will not be allowed to change this government until 2020, President Maithripala Sirisena said today.

Delivering the keynote address at the 38th anniversary of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), the President said the government had permitted trade union activities as they were integral parts of a democratic country. But it is sad to witness the strikes, protests and trade union action in a destructive and indecent manner almost daily inconveniencing public life not aimed at winning demands but carrying out politically motivated acts of sabotage.

“This government will never deprive the right to vote and right to engage in trade union action. We have introduced legislation to strengthen the right of franchise and workers rights by constituting Independent Commissions. But all those who enjoy the new found freedom must learn to use them not only for their benefit but that of the country as well,” he said.

President Sirisena said the framework agreement for the Hambantota Port Development Project (HPDP) was signed on September 4th, 2014 during the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime in which he was also a Cabinet minister.

"After this government came to power, through hard negotiations with the Chinese Merchant Port Holding Co (CMPHC) we were able to persuade them to bring down the extent of land sold to the Chinese company by Rajapaksa government by 50% and change the sell out to a lease agreement. Under that agreement, the security of the Hambantota Port and surrounding area including the proposed. The Rajapaksa regime had also given outright 240 acres from the Port City to the Chinese. Under the agreement entered on Port City Project, the Head of State should have got prior permission from the Chinese management of the Port City to land a chopper there. We changed all these clauses," the President said. “Unfortunately we were not able to retake the highly valuable 6 acre land sold to Shangri-La Hotel Project as it had been sold in deed. A long as I remain as the President of this country I will not let any one to sell a single inch of land or assets of Sri Lanka to any country or foreign company."

The President said the farmework agreement on HPDP was submitted to the Cabinet once again yesterday because he wanted to further amend the agreement to ensure there was no an iota of negative impact on Sri Lanka from it. It will be presented in Parliament at the next session for the members to suggest their own proposals if any and the government was ready to incorporate any worthwhile suggestion.

He said Sri Lanka was known in the world because of its ports from ancient times. The ports in Sri Lanka are also closely involves in its victories and defeats as foreign powers arrived in Sri Lanka through ports. Therefore, Sri Lnkans cannot talk about our history, wars. invasions and the foreign influence without talking on ports located round the country. The SLPA and its employees contribution to the economy and the national development is immeasurable. Now that, with agreement of the HPDD signed the SLPA must not incur Rs. 9.1 billion to maintain loss making Hambantota Port and the employees of the SLPA are to benefit immensely, President Sirisena said and added at the discussion he had with leaders of the trade unions of Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CEYPETCO) yesterday, they realized the importance of signing this agreement.

The SLPA employees are to receive a huge benefits in the form of pay rises, big bonuses, enhanced health and insurance schemes and more welfare facilities as a result of the agreement, President Sirisena said.

Ports and Shipping Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe also spoke. (Sandun A Jayasekera)

  Comments - 22

  • chandra Tuesday, 01 August 2017 08:15 PM

    Don't hold any election until 2020. Otherwise your parties will loose definitely.

    Jagath Tuesday, 01 August 2017 08:34 PM

    According to the present constitution, president has super powers. No body can go against him/her.

    Harry Wednesday, 02 August 2017 07:04 AM

    Yeeeah! That's why even the Bond scammers and RK is protected!

    dave Wednesday, 02 August 2017 09:03 PM

    the executive president holds all the trumps..but stumps his foot and ..plays a joker.....

    Senewi Tuesday, 01 August 2017 08:46 PM

    But there are other ways and means to change the government .

    ceylon Tuesday, 01 August 2017 08:49 PM

    untill 2020 you enjoy the luxury life with peoples money and let them to suffer like now. via DM Android App

    SL Tuesday, 01 August 2017 08:51 PM

    how about provincial council ? go for it rather than delaying it.

    Older-One Tuesday, 01 August 2017 10:00 PM

    All elections will be pushed to 2020 and then will be robbed. We are old enough to remember how they conducted election through 80s.

    Dimuth Tuesday, 01 August 2017 11:27 PM

    Please don't sell or give away our strategic assets to external powers.

    Nalaka Tuesday, 01 August 2017 11:30 PM

    Time for genuine representatives of the people to rally under one banner.

    Tony Wednesday, 02 August 2017 01:06 AM

    Will you be the president AGAIN ??? What did you promise just after elections.

    Harry Wednesday, 02 August 2017 07:07 AM

    Tony hold on Machchan still the 100 days promises are valid , more days for 100!

    Citizen Wednesday, 02 August 2017 05:35 AM

    If you hold elections the govt will be wiped out

    abaya Wednesday, 02 August 2017 09:40 AM

    currpt Corrupt govt.heads home like Pakistan PM.

    cheers Wednesday, 02 August 2017 09:10 AM

    If you are so bladdy confident like Rajapakse who went for election early and lost badly why not try the pulse of the people then you will know exactly how people feel about you and even 2020 nothing will change you will be still defeated with a majority and then get ready to go to Welikada for ever

    abay Wednesday, 02 August 2017 09:22 AM

    Can you believe this government promises .For the last two years broken promises about elections.

    SAM SPARROW Wednesday, 02 August 2017 09:47 AM

    Please privatize most of the loss making sectors before 2020 and especially make SAITM running. People and the protesters will realize the value of it by 2020

    Premalal Wednesday, 02 August 2017 10:02 AM

    You look worried Mr. President and quite rightly so. I am sure you must realised by now that you have blown the chance given to you with the collective hopes of the nation. However, you have almost three years to redeem yourself. But the you have to act the part of the executive President and not the party secretary no one cared about. The greater tragedy of your lackadaisical journey would be for us citizens because you will let the Jackals in again and there won't be any country left after they run through the third term. It would be a hybrid between the Venezuelan economy and the North Korean tyranny. I hope you read this Mr. President for your sake and ours..

    Kandian Dancer Upul Wednesday, 02 August 2017 11:03 AM

    Never act according to MR's instructions then you will be the King forever for SriLanka.

    Sharon Wednesday, 02 August 2017 12:44 PM

    Looking soooo worried..... Don't worry, be happy.....

    Rabana Wednesday, 02 August 2017 01:28 PM

    Continually and constantly talking about the government's survival. Trademark of a worried, desperate and a scared man

    George Harry Wednesday, 02 August 2017 02:19 PM

    Mr. President, please do not throw empty words, first of all order to hold LG and PC polls that have gone beyond the right time almost 2 years. So, pulling out of the power of your regime is an utmost need of the day. Really it is a high time.


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