President Gotabaya Rajapaksa while stressing that a new strain of rapidly transmitting COVID virus is the cause for the present surge, said this situation can effectively be contained in the future. Addressing the Nation last night on the first anniversary of his ascension to the Presidency, President Rajapaksa said the Government has made all efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country based on a viable plan and has succeeded.
The President added that the spread of COVID-19 in the country can easily be contained if people adhere to health guidelines and fulfill their duties as responsible citizens. “We can control this situation in the future in the same manner we handled the first wave of the Coronavirus,” he said. “While successfully containing the spread of the disease, our healthcare sector has been able to maintain a mortality rate of less than 0.05% of those diagnosed with the disease and referred for treatment”, he said. The President added that the best yardstick of his success or failure is the public opinion and not the organized propaganda by his political opponents on social media platforms. He said he has never been scared of empty threats and has constantly succeeded in facing challenges effectively. “I don’t have the habit of simply running away from problems. Instead, I resolve those issues.”
President Rajapaksa said that his government succeeded in ending an era of betraying war heroes, selling national assets and willingness to accept any deal for short-term gains which allowed foreign forces to interfere in the internal affairs of the country.
“We have once again shown the world our position as a proud, sovereign country, ready to maintain friendly relations with all the nations, non-aligned, non- partisan in conflicts between powerful nations. This is the reason today why we receive due respect from regional powers as well as global powers,” he said.
Touching on Educational reforms, the President said that two task forces have been established for the implementation of educational reforms to meet the demands of the modern world. “There are plans afoot to build City Universities centering the cities in ten selected districts which do not have higher education institutes,” he added. “For the first time in history we will take steps to make it mandatory for the university students to learn the subjects of English language and Information Technology and they will also be presented with internationally recognized certificates once they successfully complete these subjects”, he said .
He said that a committee has also been appointed to seek public opinion for the formulation of a new Constitution. “I do not want to please anyone only for the purpose of securing votes. As I have pledged, my determination is to build a prosperous nation. I will not hesitate to take whatever action is necessary according to my conscience to achieve this target”, he said. He added that the he was able to put in place an effective and robust program for the eradication of drug menace and there is no room anymore to engage in drug trafficking or operate the underworld from inside of prison cells as in the past. “People of this country no longer have reasons to live in fear of underworld gangs, extortionists and racketeers”, he noted.