Drastic drop in unemployment
Records 5.2 percent in 2008:
Boost in health education:
New projects in North and East:
State Revenue and Finance Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya told
Parliament yesterday that the unemployment rate of Sri Lanka has come
down to 5.2 percent in 2008 from 16 percent in 1990 in spite of the
challenges posed by the global economic recession and the North-East
“The country is currently going ahead in achieving development goals
gradually after the consolidation of national security”, the Minister
As a result of strengthening State mechanisms on alleviating poverty,
minimising unemployment and boosting the education and health sectors,
the unemployment rate has come down. The rate stood at 7.7 percent in
2005, 7.5 percent in 2006, 6 percent in 2007.
The Minister said the Government was mainly concerned on
strengthening national security, to protect the motherland.
“That is why we have been able to eradicate terrorism which had
suppressed the people for the past 30 years”, he said.
“Today people enjoy their democratic rights and are living in a
terror free environment”, he said.
The Minister was responding to a special statement made by JVP
Parliamentary Group Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake. The Government has
taken a number of measures to strengthen the State mechanism in the
North and East under the Uthuru Wasanthaya and Negenahira Navodaya
“There will be many employment opportunities with the ongoing
development programs in the North and the East”, he said.
Siyambalapitiya said graduates must develop their skills and engage in
capacity building in addition to the qualifications they have, so that
they could be employable in the Government sector.
The Minister said the Government did not consider ethnicity of
graduates when they were enroled into State sector in 2004 and 2005.
Since 2004 up to now, 57,764 graduates have been granted jobs, he
“There are a large number of vacancies in the public sector but the
Government cannot find qualified persons, as there is a acute shortage
of skilled labour in the country”, he noted.
The Minister said a degree alone from a recognised university does
not guarantee a job, but the graduates are required to improve
He said graduates in the North and East will be able to obtain
employment once the North and East Provincial Councials fill their
vacancies in the near future.