There is no problem regarding ownership in releasing land. The government decided to give the power for cultivation while the ownership remains unchanged. - Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena

The Prime Minister mentioned this today (22.04.2024) at the Dehiowita Divisional Secretariat, participating in a programme for distribution of incubators with the view of strengthening the rural economy and uplifting small scale poultry farm owners.

The Prime Minister at the event commented that –

“This support received from People’s Republic of China is distributed to the Divisional Secretariat Divisions all over the island. Additionally, we have been able to work on many other special projects. It is important to move towards a targeted development effort that integrates the Local Government, Public Administration and Divisional Secretariats.

We have seen many countries in the world with this kind of economic crisis. At different times of the world economy, different countries suffered economic collapses. In the efforts to recover from those economic collapses, people face great pressures. There will be problems in the sources of income. Due to problems in the sources of income, government employees are vulnerable to various economic conditions. Greece, when the government began to lose its income sources, forty percent of the people in the government sector was sacked. Rich countries and Europe is also facing some pressure. Even though the international organization asked us to dismiss our public servants, we did not do so.

We replied to them that we will only enter the ways to get out of this crisis by working for the safety of the people. The people of ’Thunkorale’ have that important interest to increase our rural production. District Development chairpersons and Regional Development Committee chairpersons should get active for that improvement. Opportunities for special economic development have been announced for the people in the upcountry. This province belongs to the upcountry people. The desire to claim it from village to village, division to division in ’Thunkorale’ should be especially encouraged. Mrs. Bandaranaike nationalized estates of foreigners as government lands. Surplus land of local private owners was acquired by the government. That act has been for fifty years. But the expected goals have not been achieved.

The Cabinet is specially discussing in that regard had decided to release the land that can be used for new cultivations for development. Accordingly, the large estates of the government have been given to companies but there are acres of uncultivated land and the Grama Niladharies and Divisional Secretaries collect those information and release those lands for the development of the upcountry. The problem is not about the ownership, but about the cultivation. The government has taken a decision to give the power to cultivate while the ownership remains unchanged. Accordingly, based on the area, some villages have the opportunity to turn to food cultivation and some villages to export crops. It is essential at this time to focus as a country on the possibility of creating new sources of income from village to village.

This body of water descends from the mountains and flows into the sea through major rivers. The first interim collection of that flow is in this ’Thunkorale’. How much wealth does the nation claim? A discussion has now being made, where you can take your ideas to manage the resource development and downstream processes and to adopt a more attractive development programme.

MPs Sudath Manjula, Udayakantha Gunathilake, Rajika Wickamasinghe, Yadamini Gunawardena, government officials and the public participated in this event.

Prime Minister’s Media