Wednesday, 24 March 2004  
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Its a pleasure to be back with my old friends - Ronnie de Mel

Matara Central Correspondent

I have served the people for thirty seven years (37) as a Parliamentarian, nearly twenty years (20) I was a UNP Parliamentarian as an MP and a minister I have now come back to my old house. It is a great pleasure to be back with my old friends said the former Minister of Finance Ronnie de Mel when he addressed a UNP rally held recently at the Uyanwatta Stadium, Matara.

He further said, as Finance Minister of UNP government I did much for Ruhuna.

Karapitiya Teaching Hospital, Ruhuna Campus, Nilwala scheme Polwatumodara and Lunugamvehera schemes are some of them. Now people are enjoying the benefits of what I did as a minister.

I also had plans to convert Kiralakele-Matara to an airport and to divert Kaluganga to the south for agricultural purposes. Because of the rebellion started in 1983, I could not proceed with my plans. Both, the LTTE war and the JVP insurrection ruined the economy of the country. It is my feeling that only the UNP could shoulder the two burdens of bringing back peace and economic prosperity to the country. Therefore everyone should support the UNF to achieve those ends.

Minister of Fisheries and Ocean Resources Mahinda Wijesekara said, we did not take action to topple the former PA - JVP (Pariwasa) government peace could never have been achieved. Similarly, foreign aid to the extent of 45 billion could not have been obtained.

We had a well thought out plan to disburse foreign aid due to pre-mature dissolution of parliament we could not implement that plan. If Freedom Alliance become victories at this election, the ceasefire will come to an end; because two constituent parties of the Alliance believe in two different things.

Our Prime Minister never had a hand in any killings and will neither encourage any killings. The local government election in the district of Matara was won by UNF with a majority of 55,000.

This time we will double that margin. Ronnie de Mel is a great strength to us. President of the UNP Malik Samarawickrema said, our Ministers will get a mandate to rule the country again. Results of this election will decide the future of the country.

According to the latest survey, it has been ascertained that UNF will come to power again. Therefore, my plea is to rally round us.

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