Leader of the National People’s Power, Anura Kumara Dissanayake
Among the crowd present here are those who have voted for us before as well as many who have voted for other political parties. All of them are welcomed by the fraternity and appreciated for uniting to change this destructive political trajectory. The actions that have been taken for decades have done all the devastation to a country and its people. The economy is heading for a catastrophic end, with a huge shortage of goods, an extreme rise in prices, and more than 1,500 containers of essential goods are stacked up at the port. Doubts have been raised about the repayment of loan instalments. The lives of ordinary people are in a deep crisis. Can the traditional political trajectory that has existed so far solve these deep-seated crises? Experiences and our own lives have proved today that our country cannot move forward on the old, traditional political path.
This was not a natural disaster. These are the consequences of the wrong economic and political path which followed. If you fall into a hole, you have to take the same route to come out of it. If our country was plunged into this catastrophe with the wrong economic and political policy, the answer lies in establishing the right economic and political policy in the motherland. Many people who have a decent source of income and want to be respected for their profession leave the country. They leave the country not only in search of employment but also in terms of social security. But, no matter how much you struggle individually, you can’t get over this. It requires a collective effort. This platform of the National People’s Power is made up of people who make humanitarian sacrifices and sacrifices for such a collective effort. I declare, beyond this, you will build the National People’s Power into a people’s movement that can mobilize all the people of the country together.
Everyone is convinced that our country must be shifted from this destructive political trajectory. No matter how much you struggle individually, it doesn’t work. No matter how hard the quails caught in Vedda’s net struggled individually, it did not work. But in the end, it was explained that they must fight collectively by the quail who was the Bodhisattva. That is exactly what has happened to us today. We are ready to take over this country. Also, this country is ready to be built. We have an honest and sincere desire for that. No one on this platform or any of you who have participated here, have come on personal grounds. We all have a knot that binds us together. That is, we are ready to take over this country and build this country. This is not a country that should collapse.
The main factor that is wreaking havoc in this country is extremely corrupt politics. Rulers steal from antigen kits of people who are on the verge of death from the Covid pandemic. Rulers who are stealing from the Sri Lankans overseas and through the quarantine process, will not build the country. While the agriculture which cultivated Yala and Maha seasons for generations is waiting for the required inputs and rulers are exploiting Chinese fertilizers. Therefore firstly, this corrupt politics must be stopped. These corrupt projects weigh heavily on our country. Corruption is not just a bribe committed at the moment. The impact of corruption is enormous. The former Auditor General had once stated that the country’s debt was eleven trillion and its assets were only one trillion. This is why our country is stuck in a huge mountain of debt. The share of debt which was one billion rupees in 1955 has increased up to 16,300 billion rupees as of last 30th April. Can any ruler tell what was done with the loans taken? Therefore, first, an uncorrupt political system is needed to build this country. It can only be done by the most uncorrupted national people’s force in this country. Many people expect these corrupt people to be punished. It is also expected that the property earned from corruption should be taken back. Surely it can only be done under the rule of a National People’s Power. We will do it.
Secondly, a collective effort is needed to build this country. How many people went after individuals, in search of Diyasen princes? We always say that building a country is not a magical act of an individual. Foreign workers came to vote in hired planes with high hopes of building this country. Anton Chekhov once said, “Man can be made a better person by explaining his condition.” Man is not naturally a thief, a corrupt person or an oppressor. That man is naturally optimistic. Who dragged that man into this disaster? By creating a society that runs for itself individuality. Within that society, man is a deceiver and a corrupt man. If so, he can be saved only from collectivism. It can only be done by getting down from the political pedestal. Today politics has become an extremely privileged position. It has created a person who is not subjected to law. This extremely privileged politician must come down from the top platform above the law and has to become an activist who builds society by working side by side with the public as co-partners. The politician cannot ask citizens to be collective while standing on a pedestal. The country can be built by collectively deploying the tasks of me, as a politician, your tasks as a professional and as an entrepreneur as well as the tasks of farmer and the fisherman.
The pensions, official residences for ministers, taking care of former presidents and giving mansions to them should all be abolished. Abolish and turn politics into a collective exercise to build this country, shoulder to shoulder with the citizens. Only NPP can do it. The old traditional camp has proved that they cannot do anything. Incorrupt politics and the collective intervention of society are the two basic elements need to build the country. The economic program built on them should be implemented. We have a vision and a plan. But I am not saying it is perfect. With new ideas and suggestions, it should be completed. Especially the transformation we are making on the economical body should be done on three basic foundations. We must increase national production, acquire a fair share of goods and services in the world market, and get the involvement of the people in this economy and distribute the benefits equitably among them. Today a large portion of the people have been expelled from this economy. They have turned human lives into human dust. Even today thirty-eight per cent of the GDP comes from the Western province, five per cent and five-tenth per cent from the North Central province. This means people are not contributing to the economic expansion equally. Therefore, the people should be made active partners in the economy.
The share of the economy among ordinary people is distributed in an extremely unfair manner. The top ten per cent of the people enjoy thirty-eight per cent of the national wealth. The bottom ten per cent enjoy only one-tenth per cent of the national wealth. Is this fair? We get together and make a loaf of bread. Thirty-eight to four-tenths of it is enjoyed by ten people while ten get a little over one slice of bread. As the country achieves economic expansion, the benefits must be distributed fairly. Without a fair distribution of benefits, a society cannot be good. No country in the world can match the economic system of another country. Any country’s economic strategies are based on several main factors. Location is the main one among them. Our country is located in a very important place. Our country is located on four major naval routes of Europe, India, Australia and the Far East. Thirty-six thousand ships pass through these routes annually. 30% of the world trade is transported on these four routes. This position should be utilized when the country is developed. At the same time, it’s important to have an accurate assessment of our country’s natural resources. We do not have valuable treasures like gold, copper and gas. But we have an ocean resource which is eight times as much as the country like a treasure. Beautiful beach line, mineral resources, two monsoon rains, location close to the equator and fertile land are our valuable resources. Utilizing these resources is the core of our development plan.
Thirdly, our country’s human resource is the most important. Based on the world’s density of population, our country ranks in the twenty-fourth place. It is approximately, three hundred and forty per square kilometre. The development of this human resource is an important part of our economic strategy. For that, education, health and sports need to be used. Where are these three fields today? Thirty thousand first grade students drop out before writing the ordinary level. More than seventy per cent of the drug addicts have not been educated to the ordinary level. More than seventy per cent of the prisoners have not been educated to the ordinary level. There is a link between poverty and ignorance as well as a social crime. Therefore, the goal of our education is to produce a wise man. As a healthy person can be produced with health, a courageous man can be produced with sports. Sri Lankan citizens will be built to a wise, healthy and efficient Sri Lankan citizens. We aim to build the world’s most developed human resource from Sri Lanka. We have strong confidence that we can do it.
The world today is intertwined in many ways. Communication, transportation, world market, passenger transportation are all intertwined. If anyone is thinking of creating a displaced state in the world, they belong to the 1800s and beyond. Various economic fortresses are created in world politics, so conflicts and competition exist. Where is Sri Lanka located in it? As a result of decades of wrong foreign policies have been followed, it is in the cave of different countries. When Hambantota port is given to China, East port is requested by India. America is asking Kerawalapitiya powerhouse. Therefore, we need to implement a fresh, unbound, one-size-fits-all personality foreign policy that can come out of the cave with a very broad vision and program. Our inland irrigation industry and the tank system is built on a civilized evolution. Even today, twenty-two per cent of our labour force relies on agriculture. Twenty-five per cent of the export income is received from agriculture. Twenty-five per cent of the industries in our country is based on agriculture. Agriculture in our country is very important in terms of food security and improving the livelihoods of rural people. We need to move to a new economic program based on our country’s civilization, human resources, world politics and resources of our country.
In that regard, we have a vision and a plan. It is implemented by entrepreneurs. The government sets goals and the entrepreneur implements those targeted programs. What has happened today is that entrepreneurs do not venture into new fields. As long as an economic vision is not introduced by the government, entrepreneurs are going to meet Gnanakkala. We will guide farmers, labourers, entrepreneurs and public servants with a vision. In this way, within five to six years, our country can be transformed into a developed country. The citizens always had good hopes. At the polling booth, no voters cast their vote intending to destabilize the country, sell national resources and drag our country into such devastation. Every citizen cast a vote with good intentions. However, instead of the voter’s good dream, the elected ruler had the dream of the expectations of his own family. The ruler had an extreme greed life with selling national resources. We are building the aspirations of the people to move the country forward through an administration that builds the unity of all in this country. The Executive Committee of the NPP has an executive body representing all sectors. Let us go to the village and enter the politics of turning this country on a new path. Let us choose the path of the solution instead of the path of destruction that has been going on for seventy-three years. This is the path of solution. We invite everyone to join us on that path with courage.