While claiming that some people have been excited about the next President, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said today no one should be excited about it and that it should be decided by the people.
"Majority of people elected me to the presidency to develop the country. It is only 16 months out of 60 months of the term have elapsed. Some more time to go. Some people have been perturbed about the next president. No one should be excited about it. It is decided by the people. I will use the rest of the term to fulfill aspirations of the people by launching massive programmes to develop the national economy and rural people," he said.
He expressed these views while participating in the "Gama Samaga Pilisandara programme" in Yombuwelthenna in Walapane this morning.
He said media freedom is not the freedom of the owners of the media institutions and added that even though some owners of media institutions have wanted to rule the country, it cannot be done.
The President said he as the President had not made any undue influence on the media and added that he would not be hesitant to implement law against those who were engaged in wrong media practice on the needs of various groups and individuals.
He said he had never destroyed the environment and pointed out that as the Secretary to the Urban Development Ministry, he had launched massive programmes to conserve the environment.
"There were garbage heaps even in the Independence Square those days. I converted Colombo into a Green Park by changing that situation," he said.
He also said the main policy of the government is to eliminate poverty by improving the income of the villages.
The President said the government has paid special attention to the agriculture and plantation sectors to achieve this goal.
"I participate in this programme in the rural areas as the key point in our manifesto is to eliminate poverty. That is, our main policy is to improve the income level in poor villages. 75% of our population live in rural areas. 35% of them are directly engaged in the agricultural industry. It is important to rescue the 75% of our population from poverty and improve their income level. Our policy is focused towards that end. That is why, we have paid special attention to agriculture and plantation sectors,' the President said.