By Krishan Jeewaka Jayaruk
Deputy Leader of the United National Party (UNP), Housing, Construction and Cultural Affairs Minister Sajith Premadasa gave an undertaking yesterday that he was ready to serve 22 million citizens from 6.1 million families 365 days a year for 24 hours a day and that he would swear to it in memory of and as a tribute to his late father, former President Ranasinghe Premadasa.
He made this pledge at a ceremony to mark the completion of 30 years of political life of Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera at an event entitled ‘Khema’s boy – three decades of politics” held in the Ravindranath Hall of the Ruhunu University.
Speaking further, he said various people and groups give wonderful analyses about his life and behavioural patterns these days and such people are at liberty to express their views that are aimed at character assassination. He also pointed out that people have their own interpretation of how to ensure national security. He said if the country is to march forward everybody should act together so that national security can be protected.
He added that it is not enough to expect market forces to dictate how to strengthen the economy, but that a combination of market and social democracy could be adopted for the generation of wealth that could be distributed more equitably among the people. Minister Samaraweera, in whose honour the event had been organised, thanked Minister Premadasa saying the minister had already touched on the economic policies of the government in the future. He joked that while most people were of the view that he would not be around politics for long enough to contest another election he was just 63 years old and not only will he contest but he intended to serve the people of Matara for at least another five years before he retires.
Among the many eminent personalities who had arrived to extend their best wishes to the veteran politician were Leader of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) R. Sampanthan and the founder of the Ravaya newspaper, Victor Ivan who said a few words on the occasion.
The event was well attended with a crowd of approximately 1000 on hand to extend their wishes to Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera including other ministers, parliamentarians and other distinguished guests.
A combination of market and social democracy could be adopted for the generation of wealth that could be distributed more equitably among the people
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