President Ranil Wickremesinghe stated that through the “Urumaya” program, the government’s intent is to express gratitude to farmers who have supplied rice to the country despite not owning the land.

He also emphasized that the current government aims to provide both knowledge and rights to the people, akin to how C.W.W. Kannangara promoted education through free schooling.

President Wickremesinghe made these remarks at a ceremony held yesterday (17) at the Embilipitiya Mahaweli Stadium.

The event was for the awarding of freehold land deeds to 1,524 out of 45,253 eligible settlers in the Mahaweli Walawa region as part of the national “Urumaya” program to provide 02 million freehold land deeds.

The President participated in the Urumaya ceremony and the symbolic distribution of land deeds.

Addressing the event, he further stated,

I have instructed all relevant authorities to issue freehold land deeds within the next two months. District Secretaries, the Land Commissioner General, and the surveyors’ office will collaborate to expedite the delivery of these land deeds. Local government officials will also contribute, ensuring the efficient implementation of this program.

For the past 75 years, people have been given land without freehold rights. The “Urumaya” program was introduced to grant these legal land rights, marking a significant change.

During difficult times, everyone shared the burden. Now that the economy is improving, everyone should benefit, especially the farmers who provide rice to the nation. In addition to granting free land rights to farmers, we are working to provide housing rights to 250,000 low-income residents living in the Colombo flats.

This program aims to ensure that every citizen owns land, a house, or a vehicle. Just as C.W.W. Kannangara provided free education in 1944, this government is committed to providing both knowledge and rights to the people.

Farmers in this area have been growing crops and harvesting without owning the land, preventing them from obtaining bank loans. This problem has persisted for three generations. To address this, the government implemented the “Urumaya” program to grant them land rights as a gesture of gratitude to the farmers of this country.

When we assumed office, the country was in crisis, with no electricity, and a lack of fuel and medicines. To recover, we prioritized increasing production. Paddy production rose during the 2022 and 2023 seasons, thanks to the farmers’ efforts. The government provided necessary support, including fertilizer.

Our support for farmers goes beyond land ownership. To eliminate rural poverty, we must carry out an agricultural revolution. The agricultural modernization program is designed to increase farmers’ incomes alongside land ownership.

We urge everyone to participate in this program, which will begin next year with prompt funding. The government also plans to modernize and restructure the agricultural service centers.

I extend my gratitude to the farmers of this area for their service over three generations without land rights.

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