By Akitha Perera
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, addressing the UNP’s final rally at Maradana yesterday said that he had a plan to develop and protect the country with President Maithripala Sirisena.
“President Sirisena is ready to work with me as the Prime Minister and no Prime Minister can take the country forward while being at loggerheads with the President,” he said.
The international community was ready to help a future UNP government by helping develop the country and they would receive foreign aid along with many investment opportunities and trade facilities, he said.
The PM said one hundred and sixty one civic organisations had pledged their support to a future United National Front government and recently an agreement had been signed with Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha thera.
Those civic organisations were rallying behind them consist of professionals, intellectuals, scholars, artistes and media personnel as well “I have a diverse and a solid plan to develop the country under the theme “A new country in 60-months” and during the five years one million job opportunities will be created,” the Prime Minister said.
“We have received commitments from foreign investors to start a number of factories and industries and build and operate tourist hotels and IT Centres while improving the infrastructure at the Mega Economic Development Zones”, he said.
“In the next 4-5 years a system will be implemented to increase the earnings of the people, while reducing the cost of living.
We will also see that the working class receive a wage which will be sufficient to meet the basic needs and introduce a system where more money can be earned by way of self-employment”, the UNP leader said.
The plantation workers would be provided with lands and housing and those who had lived in state lands for more than 10-years would be provided with permanent deeds, he said.
Wickremesinghe said the party had planned to improve the educational system in the country and would make it compulsory for every child to attend school for 13-years and improve facilities in schools.
Technical colleges and Colleges of education for technological studies would be established while undergraduates would be provided with practical training while attending university, he added.
The PM noted that their alliance made up by UNP, JHU joining hands with Tamil and Muslim political parties and those parties had the expertise of professionals and intellectuals to take the country forward, the
“There are capable and efficient leaders in all communities as well as in the north and east and plantations”, Wickremesinghe, said.