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President wants illegal acquisition of state land halted

2014 Jul 09

President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday instructed officials to take all measures to prevent illegal acquisition, encroachment or sale of state-owned lands.

Speaking at the Puttalam district Development Committee meeting held in Madampe yesterday, the President stressed that the plunder of state owned lands by use of force or power cannot be allowed. "Both public officers and political representatives of the people should act in a very responsible manner in the use of state land. They should ensure optimum land resource utilisation to supplement sustainable development," he added.

Replying to questions from several officials who pointed out that a private company in the Puttalam district was involved in the practice of illegal sale of state land, the President said a comprehensive investigation was already under way in this regard.

Focusing on other areas, President Rajapaksa praised both political representatives and state officials in the district for their interest shown in further developing the education sector in the district.

While advising officials to address the teacher shortage in the district, he also suggested they should look into the accommodation needs of teachers who come from other areas as well.

Paying attention to the water shortage in the area for both drinking and farming purposes, the President noted that the Deduru Oya project which is soon to be vested with the people would help alleviate many existing issues related to water scarcity.

Following some questions about health facilities, President Rajapaksa also directed officials to address shortcomings.

"Under the Mahinda Chinthana we promised that we will give priority to the development of education, health and infrastructure. We have done this and continue to further develop these sectors. Our aim is equitable facilities and opportunities to all areas," he added.

While noting that the government will soon be able to provide electricity for all, the President added the government has also launched a program aiming for same in providing quality drinking water to people from all areas.

President Rajapaksa also told the gathering that the government's focus on infrastructure development has boosted investment, local industries and ushered in livelihood opportunities to people.

He noted that in the next budget, the government will lay special focus on further supporting measures to enhance livelihood opportunities to the people.

The President also looked into the needs of the district and discussed challenges obstructing further development.

He suggested several aspects to be considered when formulating strategies for the future. He also evaluated Key Performance Indicators against agreed targets.

Minister Pryankara Jayaratne who hails from the area welcomed the gathering while Chief Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera also spoke about future plans for development in the area.

Ministers, Provincial Council and Pradeshiya Sabha members from the Puttalam district, ministry secretaries, state officials and community leaders also participated.

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