President Ranil Wickremesinghe stated that he had recently discussed debt restructuring with Chinese Finance Minister Liu Kun and is optimistic that negotiations in this regard would be concluded successfully.
The President mentioned that a delegation headed by the State Minister of Finance, who is currently in Washington, held initial discussions on Saturday (15) with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as well as China,India and Japan, the three main creditor nations, on Sri Lanka's debt restructuring.
He reiterated that the government is taking measures to get the country out of the current state of bankruptcy while ensuring its food security.
President Wickremesinghe made these remarks following an observation tour in cultivated lands in the Rathumada-Weerakandawala area in Siyambalanduwa Divisional Secretariat yesterday morning (16). The President also discussed the progress of the implementation of the food security program in the Monaragala district with government officials.
Alluding to certain statements made by different factions on possible bloodshed, the President said that although he welcomes divergent views, one should be able to live before resorting to conflicts that would result in bloodshed.
The President mentioned that if a proper programme is not implemented to ensure Sri Lanka's food security, the people will starve to death before any bloodshed. The President also stressed that politics should be discussed only in the Parliament and that everyone should work in unison to fulfil the aspirations of the people.
While visiting the cultivation lands in Rathumada-Weerakandawala area in Siyambalanduwa Divisional Secretariat, the President also engaged in an open discussion with the farmers.
The farmers had the opportunity to discuss the issues they were facing directly with the President where he was informed of many issues the farmers have to endure including the lack of fertilisers, insecticides, pesticides, land and irrigation issues and the threat of wild elephants in the area.
Accordingly, the President summoned relevant officials and instructed them to take immediate measures to resolve issues faced by the farming community in the area. While expressing their gratitude to the President for visiting them and looking into their issues, the farmers also noted that this is the first time that a President has visited their area.
After getting an officer of the Presidential Secretariat to record all the issues faced by the farming community in the area, the President announced that he will appoint an Additional Secretary to directly work with the local political authority and the other relevant government officials in the district to coordinate and take appropriate measures to resolve all issues.
After noting other issues faced by the people pertaining education, roads and housing, the President said that he will provide the necessary facilities to ensure that the children of the area who are engaged in education activities in the midst of many difficulties are given the opportunity to receive university education.
While returning from participating in this event, the President also visited a Daham Pasala held at Dharmashoka Pre-School, Siyambalanduwa Kaluobba, without prior notice, and inquired about the well-being of the students. Even though he arrived at the place without prior notice, the students welcomed the President by singing Jayamangala Gatha.
President's Senior Adviser on National Security and President’s Chief of Staff Sagala Ratnayaka, Governor of Uva Province A.J.M. Muzammil, State Ministers Shasheendra Rajapaksa, Vijitha Berugoda, Jagath Pushpakumara,Presidential Adviser on National Food Security Dr. Suren Batagoda and other local government officials also participated at this occasion.