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Monday, 20 February 2012

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No intention to burden public - President

*Never imposed hardships willingly

*Vested interests misleading public

The government was compelled to increase the price of fuel due to its difficulty in shouldering the massive economic weight imposed by the rise in world oil prices, a decision the government was forced to take against its will, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said.

“The government has never imposed hardships on the people willingly,” he said.

He said the government has taken measures to provide relief to all needy sectors affected by the fuel price hike.

Addressing the gathering in Kadawatha on Saturday following the inauguration of several key development initiatives in the area, President Rajapaksa also noted that despite some parties with vested interests trying to mislead the public, the people were aware of the prevailing volatile situation in the global fuel markets.

The President noted that these parties with vested interest, were trying to take advantage of the prevailing situation to instigate a volatile situation internally with the intention of putting Sri Lanka to difficulty at the forthcoming United Nations Human Rights Council sessions.

However, the President emphasised that despite difficulties, he was determined and committed to uphold responsibilities vested in him by the nation to create a peaceful and prosperous country.

President Rajapaksa assured the gathering that whatever the obstacle, he was determined to take the country forward step - by - step on the path to prosperity as envisioned in his policy manifesto Malinda Chinthana.

The President urged the public to uphold their duty and keep their trust in the government and help take the country forward.

President Rajapaksa also recalled how his government was able to steer the country forward during difficult periods.

The President pointed out to the gathering that the government had reunited the country in a short span defeating terrorism. He also recalled taking the country forward successfully during difficulties such as the world economic recession, food scarcity, global fuel price fluctuations, etc.

Earlier, the President inaugurated the construction of the second phase of the Outer Circular Expressway. He also vested with the public, the newly initiated safe drinking water project which will benefit over 500,000 people in Mahara, Kadawatha, Wattala, Welisara, Ragama, Kandana, Jaela, Ekala, Biyagama, Delgoda, Muthurajawela and Pamunugama.

He also opened the new courts complex at Kadawatha built at Rs 175 million and vested with the public the new bus stand at Kadawatha, Gemidiriya Cooperative Society at Mahara, underground pedestrian tunnel at Kadawatha and the newly constructed pedestrian walkways in the town.

The multiple events on Saturday were attended by ministers, government officials and the public.

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