United Democratic Front candidate Sajith Premadasa yesterday pledged to introduce a new tax structure to attract foreign investors and to come up with programmes to boost small and medium entrepreneurs if elected to office as President of Sri Lanka next month.
Answering questions posed to him at a youth forum on the theme “Transforming Youth – Empowering the Future" in Colombo yesterday, he said foreign direct investment (FDR) will also be in focus as a way and means to create youth employment. “I will also come up with a youth charter which will carry legal validity”, he said. In addition, he said youth will be empowered to play a role in the decision-making process.
Speaking further, Mr. Premadasa said a women’s charter will also be introduced while new laws would be introduced to ensure gender equality.
Responding to a question on ensuring national security, the presidential hopeful said that it would be looked at in a broader sense. “One should think of social and economic security as well,” he said in this regard while stating that the security forces will be given training in handling modern terrorism and in cybersecurity. He further said he would focus on the economic vulnerability of the nation. He further pledged to depoliticise the institutions which are engaged in maintaining law and order. He said he would also make the institutions concerned with eradicating corruption more independent.
Asked about his keenness on keeping his word in a situation where politicians fail to keep their promises, “I will practice what I preach” he said, focusing on the pledge he had already given that he will not live in a presidential palace if elected.
Responding to a question as to whether Sri Lanka needed a dictator, he argued raising question as to why one should have a presidential election if a dictator is needed. “ I will not be a dictator but a democrat who would adopt an out of the box approach. (Yohan Perera)