Fertiliser subsidy, an investment for the future


Fertiliser subsidy, an investment for the future

President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the fourth phase of the Api
Wenuven Api
housing project for Security Forces personnel which
was launched in Moneragala, Badulla yesterday.

The controversial ‘Channel 4 lie’ has been proved and is not a
controversy anymore as expected by the LTTE rump but an absolute ‘lie’
about ground realities taking place in Sri Lanka two years ago. Though
it claimed it was a masterpiece in investigative journalism, the video
proved that it is a product fabricated by a group of media men, who are
biased and anti-Sri Lanka. Their objective is clearly visible. In the
aftermath of the LTTE’s defeat, as there is no possibility of breathing
a ‘new life’ to the LTTE, the LTTE remnants want to take revenge by
tarnishing the image of the country, its hard earned victory over
defeating terrorism and also attempting to take the leader, who gave
leadership to destroy the LTTE and who saved thousands of lives of
Tamils, before an international tribunal.

Can a popular television channel maintain its credibility by
misleading their viewership? How ethical is it to tarnish the image of a
country based on wrong and biased information ? It is evident how
pro-LTTErs manage to hatch a conspiracy against President Mahinda
Rajapaksa government, which stood firm against Pro-LTTE Western nations
until it swept the scourge of terrorism completely.

This is why President Mahinda Rajapaksa alerted all Sri Lankans, here
and abroad, to be aware of a conspiracy against Sri Lanka, which is
progressing economically and socially in the aftermath of ending brutal
terrorism.

“Be conscious about what is happening outside Sri Lanka and always
stand up to protect the good name of the country. There is an
international campaign against Sri Lanka by certain channels to destroy
the good name of the country”, he said at a ceremony held at Temple
Trees on Thursday.

Addressing farmers at the National Farmer’s Convention, he said that
human rights were safeguarded and the newly dawned peace brought an
environment free of blood shed. “ After ending terrorism and restoring
the people’s right to live, some segments are trying to send me to
gallows.

They fling false allegations in various forms like through the
‘Darusman Report’ or the ‘Channel 4 video’. But this government would
not allow any force to underestimate the hard-earned victory over
terrorism and the humanitarian operation to rescue thousands of Tamils
in the North and East.

The way we protected and look after security forces personnel who
engaged in the humanitarian operation, we will look after the country’s
farmer community, who will take the country to a prosperous future”, he
said.

At the event to mark the launch of the fertiliser subsidy for all
agricultural and cash crops, the President assured to purchase paddy
from farmers under any circumstance and to continue to provide
fertiliser subsidy to paddy farmers as pledged under the Mahinda
Chinthana policy, which provides fertiliser subsidy for tea, rubber,
coconut, vegetables and fruit cultivators.

“Sri Lanka is the only country which provides this subsidy for over
six years and the government spends over Rs. 34,560 million for the
fertiliser subsidy for farmers and we allocate Rs. 52,500 million
annually for the fertiliser subsidy for all crops. With the launch of
this new fertiliser subsidy program, any cultivator can buy any amount
of fertiliser from the open market at a subsidised price. Farmers or
cultivators need not fill forms anymore to obtain fertiliser. Earlier
Sri Lanka imported food items spending over 40 percent of the GDP
without considering that these crops could be easily cultivated in the
country. No one thought of self-sufficiency in food, he said.

“As a people-friendly government, many measures have been taken to
increase food production. Under this, cultivation including agricultural
crops and cash crops will receive the fertiliser subsidy. The project
introduced to establish one million domestic economic units is part of
it”, he said.

President Rajapaksa said the fertiliser subsidy was not an allocation
but an investment for the future. Therefore,the government has invested
Rs. 123 billion on the fertiliser subsidy during the last six years. Due
to the global economic crisis, the price of fertiliser was over Rs.
7,000 per bag. Notwithstanding this increase the government as a
people-friendly one has clearly understood the value of agriculture,
offered the fertiliser subsidy as usual, he said adding that historians
have pointed out that paddy has been cultivated in the country for the
last 30,000 years.

Stressing the need of everyone’s contribution for the country’s
development, he said some narrow minded rulers wanted to discourage
agriculture including paddy cultivation.

“ They ruined the Paddy Marketing Board, Co-operatives and many other
community based government establishments”, he said.

The President, who returned after a successful visit to Russia, where
he was able to hold fruitful bi-lateral discussions with Russian
President Dmitry Medvedev, Chinese President Hu Jintao and Prime
Minister of Spain, Jose Luis Rodreguez Zapatero to get their support for
the country’s development process. The President met the SAARC Secretary
General Fathimath Dhiyana Saeed at Temple Trees.

Commending President Rajapaksa’s contribution to SAARC during the
past few years she requested SAARC countries to rally round Sri Lanka
and support – it at this juncture.

Saeed, who is a Maldivian and the first woman to become Head of
SAARC, discussed future activities of SAARC with President Rajapaksa.
The President said that SAARC member countries should strive for
development using their potential and capabilities.

Despite his busy schedule, President Rajapaksa took his time to phone
Sri Lanka’s Deputy Representative to the UN Maj. General Shavendra Silva
who had spoken at the event of screening the Channel 4 video in New
York, to reveal that the video was a fake.

The video documentary, which was screened at the UN Human Rights
Council, was again screened at the UN Church Centre Wednesday at an
event sponsored by several INGOs and the Channel 4 producers were also
present.

The President thanked him for coming forward to reveal the truth and
convinced the gathering that Channel 4 tried to create chaos through a
fake documentary, which is full of inconsistencies and also a biased
narration.

The UN Permanent Representative Dr. Palitha Kohana also explained to
the gathering about the fake video.

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