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Deputy Minister at Samurdhi journal launch:

Poverty down to seven percent

Poverty levels in Sri Lanka have dropped to seven percent. This is one of the greatest achievements in Sri Lanka's development programme.

All measures will be taken within the next few years to bring down poverty to two percent, said Economic Development Deputy Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena.

The government has taken measures to increase the country's per capita income to US$ 4,000 by 2016, he added.

The minister was addressing the Samurdhi journal launching ceremony at the Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited (ANCL) yesterday. The journal is published by the Economic Development Ministry in collaboration with the Samurdhi Authority and ANCL. The journal will be distributed quarterly with the Dinamina newspaper.

"Several media institutions and personnel are criticizing the government's work programme while violating media ethics".

'They also criticize government media institutions. But all government media institutions perform their role in an exemplary manner while providing correct information to the public. Answering critics of the government is very important and all the government media institutions are doing it in the correct manner," the deputy minister said.

'There is no reason to criticize the government's development projects and programmes. The government has provided the same facilities for both urban and rural areas without a difference. They have launched a large number of infrastructure facilities and irrigation development projects islandwide to uplift the livelihoods in every part of the country, Deputy Minister Abeywardena said.

He said that arrangements are in place to earn US$ one billion from the tourism industry with the aim of realizing President Mahinda Rajapaksa's dream of making Sri Lanka the Wonder of Asia.

ANCL Chairman Bandula Padmakumara said that ANCL is the only government print media institution in the country. "ANCL has to play a major role in the country's development programme. ANCL has also provided facilities to its staff." Director (Editorial) Seelaratne Senarath and Dinamina newspaper Chief Editor Mahinda Abeysundara also spoke. Officials from the Economic Development Ministry, Samurdhi Authority and ANCL also participated.

 

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