Daily Archives: June 5, 2007
“Despite the unavoidable circumstance prevailed in the international and local arena, Sri Lanka has crossed the threshold into a strategic development process,” said Finance Secretary Dr. P. B. Jayasundera.
He stated this at the Economic Overview Meeting for the year 2006 held at Temple Trees with the participation of President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday (04).
Finance Secretary, referring to year 2006 as a year of many unexpected obstacles, highlighted that the first year of the President Rajapaksa’s Government initiated a new development plan aimed at raising the country’s economic growth in excess of 8%.
Explaining further Dr. Jayasundera said high oil prices; escalation of terrorist incidents, natural disasters, post Multi Fibre Arrangement (MFA) global competition and a widened trade deficit has posted many a threat to the economy.
Despite these hindering occurrences the Government has kept its mission on course through increasing salaries of public servants and directing the private sector to do so.
Dr. Jayasundera said the Government had to take a heavy burden in providing essential services to the public.
He emphasized the necessity of achieving a continuous growth rate of over 8% in the coming years with the aim of raising the per capita income in excess of US $ 3,000 by 2016 to make the Government vision plan a success.
According to Dr. Jayasundera, even in the face of many challenges investment in relation to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased from 26.5% in 2005 to 28.7% in 2006 with export earnings increasing by 8.4% to US $ 6,883 million.
The capital market recorded a significant expansion. According to Dr. Jayasundera, the previous year saw a buoyant growth in migrant worker remittances recording a figure of US $ 2,326 million. The Government revenue too rose in relation to GDP by 17.1%.
The year 2006 also saw a record low unemployment with the figure declining to 6.5 percent. The deposit mobilisation by the banking system too had increased by 18%. The per capita income has grown to US $ 1,355. The labour relations too saw a significant improvement, Dr. Jayasundera added.
Emphasising that the favorable economic trend was continuing in 2007, Dr. Jayasundera added that the challenges in 2006 were still persisting with high oil prices, security conditions and vagaries of weather still threatening the economy.
Finance Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya and other several Ministry officials were at the occasion. -Department of Government Information
Powered by Post2Blog Express
The timing of the abduction and later killing of the two Red Cross volunteer workers last weekend seems to be clearly aimed at discrediting both President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Government on the issue of Human Rights violations, and tarnishing the image of Sri Lanka abroad a spokesman for the Presidential Secretariat said.
This appears to be part of the general propaganda and disinformation build-up against the President and the Government ahead of the forthcoming Public Hearing on Tsunami Reconstruction and Human Rights by the European Parliament in Brussels; and President Rajapaksa’s scheduled visit to Geneva, where the ICRC has its headquarters, to address the annual sessions of the International Labour Organization (ILO).
It was significant that the abduction of the two Red Cross workers at Colombo Fort, who were later found killed near Ratnapura, took place almost concurrent in time with the President’s meeting with the wives and family members of the disappeared persons last Friday evening.
At this meeting the President sought to allay the fears of the next of kin of disappeared persons, made arrangements for their welfare and explained to them that many of those said to have been abducted had re-appeared, often without record; and that investigations into actual cases of disappearances and abductions were largely hampered by false complaints of such incidents.
The President has also ordered an immediate and thorough inquiry into these two abductions and killings.
Whoever that carried last Friday’s abduction of the Red Cross workers in Colombo Fort seemed to be keen on drawing the attention of the public, and more importantly human rights organizations and the international community, to the constant propaganda barrage against the President and the Government on alleged human violations; and away from the President’s explanation about the actual situation regarding the disappeared or abducted persons, based on official statistics that did not bear out the large numbers of allegedly disappeared or abducted as reported in the media and stated by human rights organizations.
Another aspect of this propaganda build up is the wide publicity given to the alleged order by the Police for all Tamils resident in lodges in Colombo and its suburbs to leave the city within 24 hours, with the Police providing transport for immediate evacuation. Some sections of the media even described this as ethnic cleansing of Tamils in Colombo. The Police had never issued such orders. What the Police had wanted, as explained by the IGP, was for persons staying in lodges for long periods to establish their identity and explain the reasons for such stay after the business they had come to transact in the city had been concluded, the medical attention they sought had been obtained, or any other reason. This is again a bid to bring discredit to the Government, particularly among the Tamil people, in an alleged move to show its lack of concern for human rights.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa today paid his last respects to the two Red Cross workers who were killed at the Colombo funeral parlour where their remains are lying.
The Presidential Secretariat regrets these dangerous, concerted and cowardly efforts to discredit the President and the Government, and tarnish the image of Sri Lanka, vis-à-vis human rights. (04 June 2007 – Presidential Secretariat)
Powered by Post2Blog Express
The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce yesterday expressed its concern over the current spate of violence and renewed its call for bipartisanship to usher peace, harmony and prosperity.
Following is the statement issued by the Chamber yesterday:
“We as a Chamber of Commerce believe in presenting a resilient front in the face of adversity. The country must come together in difficult times such as these and show our strength as a nation.
The Chamber, as a strictly apolitical organization and mindful of the need for absolute security in the daily lives of all citizens of Sri Lanka, reiterates its condemnation of all forms of violence and terrorism.
The CCC is working together with the Government and all responsible authorities on several fronts. The Chamber continues to endorse a bipartisan approach to solving the North-East conflict: a solution that will meet the aspirations of the great majority of the Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim and other ethnic groups of Sri Lanka.”
Powered by Post2Blog Express