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We are not alone in the current crisis, friendly countries help us while we remain free and sovereign:- Dinesh

Dinesh Gunawardena

Leader of the House, Education Minister Dinesh Gunawardena has observed that Sri Lanka is not alone in its valiant effort to come out from the serious economic crisis. Many friendly countries have come forward to assist the country to manage its economic crisis. They are willing to help us while we remain a free country upholding our sovereignty.

He made this observation commencing the second day of the debate on the statement of the Government policy by the President in Parliament at the Ceremonial Opening of the Second Session of the 9th Parliament.

Dinesh Gunawardena said:

“ The Government of Sri Lanka signed the Declaration to join the Global School Meal Programme at a meeting between the Education Minister and the World Food Programme representatives recently. The report on global economic perspective very clearly shows that there is inequality growing across the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is what COVID has produced. The world is undergoing exceptional uncertainty due to the pandemic. This report calls to soften global inequality. It requests for a concerted effort to mobilize external resources to tolerate debt relief.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had come to Parliament as the Head of State to explain to the ruling party and the Opposition the challenges we face as a country right now. From the day this Government came into power, just like almost all other countries, it had to face the COVID-19 pandemic.

Due to the proper decisions made by the President, the pandemic in our country has been brought under control. Every country still faces the challenge of managing the future with this pandemic.

It is not a good thing for the Opposition to question and act in Parliament as if it does not know about this crisis. This situation has engulfed all the world’s economies. For controlling the pandemic, the President first took steps to protect the lives of the people. We will have to face some economic difficulties as a result.

.It is normal for everyone to experience some kind of economic downturn following the pandemic. The latest report on global economic prospects clearly presents the economic crisis that Asian countries are facing due to the pandemic. It also explains that our country is making some progress. However, we will have to work under very serious circumstances in the face of the challenges ahead.

Therefore, the President has put forward a number of short and long-term policies to overcome this situation. Strengthening the agriculture based economy in particular is seen as one of the best ways out of this situation. This includes strengthening plantation agriculture as well as agro-based crops. The President explained the need for a cultivation revolution to use uncultivated lands.

Strategic plans will be implemented to recover the agriculture sector, commercial crops, tourism and foreign exchange revenue.”

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