No external forces can stop me from developing my country – Mahinda Rajapaksa
Posted on November 28th, 2009

By Walter Jayawardhana

 Hambantota airport agreement2An Agreement was signed between China Harbor construction company and Sri Lanka chairman of Airport and aviation  Prasanna  Wikramasooriya .(Pix : Chandana Perera-Nalin Hewapathirana)

Regardless of whatever power is bringing pressure on Sri Lanka, the government is determined not to change any decision taken for the benefit of the motherland said President Mahinda Rajapaksa inaugurating the construction of a new international airport at Mattala, Hambantota yester day.

 The country’s second international airport is being built on a sprawling 2000 hectares at Mattala at a cost of 200 million dollars under a loan provided by the People’s Republic of China. As the first phase of the development 800 acres will be developed.

 “Even today, there are powerful nations trying to bring pressure on Sri Lanka. Regardless of who is the superpower that is trying to change the decisions of the country, the government is determined to carry forward all decisions taken for the benefit of the motherland,” President Rajapaksa said at the public meeting held in connection of the ceremony to inaugurate the work on the airport.

 He hoisted a Chinese national flag with the Sri Lanka national flag at the ceremony.

 Further addressing the gathering the President said he would not shy away and hesitate to take decisions just because there are challenges and the second international airport for the country is taken up in that spirit.

 Since independence regimes in power lacked courage to take up such bold steps and had hurt the interests of the country.

 The President said the country’s geographical position as a transshipment hub had not be utilized in the past and the airports and seaports had not been constructed accordingly.

 “Now we have to rectify these mistakes and we are taking necessary steps to do so. In addition to the Airports, five harbours too are coming up simultaneously,” the President added.

He said he was not prepared to keeping on harping on the misdeeds of the past regimes but to have a positive outlook in to the future. He said the government had prepared plans for the next thirty or forty years ahead.

 He said whenever the government discovers any of their mistakes they were prepared to reverse the decisions. When they found out the original plans covered fertile rice fields as area for the airport , they immediately changed the location at Weerawila the President said.

The Ambassador for the People’s Republic of China Yang Xuiping speaking on behalf of her Government said that as a long-standing friend of Sri Lanka her country was always prepared to back such mega development projects in the future as well. She said China is a friend in need to Sri Lanka and a friend in deed.

Ports and Aviation Minister Chamal Rajapaksa, Chairman of Airport and Aviation Authority Prasanna Wickremasuriya, and Secretary to the Ministry of Ports and Aviation Ranjith De Silva also spoke.

Several Cabinet Ministers, Tri-Forces commanders, the IGP, officials of the Air Port and Aviation Services, Local politicians, the clergy and the public took part.

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