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Sat11172018

Last updateSat, 17 Nov 2018 9am

Local News

The Second Session of the Eighth Parliament was opened by President Maithripala Sirisena, today.

The Second Session of the Eighth Parliament was opened by President Maithripala Sirisena, today. The President then commenced the inaugural speech of the new session. He said, the government within the past three years, fulfilled the task bestowed upon it by the citizens to bring about democracy and create a humane society of responsibility in Sri Lanka. We need to recognize the political pulse of the people. The President pointed out the many progressive steps taken by the government for the betterment of its people. Among these; the 19th amendment to the constitution and the National Pharmaceuticals Act are prominent. The pruning of powers vested in the Executive Presidency without the need for a referendum, is a true victory of the Consensus Government. The Right to Information Act has been defined as the most effective piece of legislation in Asia. 18 Acts significant to the economy were passed in the 8th Parliament. The country was able to regain the GSP Plus concession. Housing projects in the island have expanded rapidly. 300 thousand families were provided houses since 2015. A mixed power generation plan was introduced. 275 thousand families were provided electricity upon the government's budget.

Specifically in the Health Sector, the prices of 48 pharmaceuticals were reduced. Stents for heart patients were provided free and the cost concerning cancer patients was addressed. A wide spread national programme was implemented to curb renal disease.

Vocational and Technical educational opportunities were provided free. The Samurdhi benefits were doubled. The allowance for elders was increased, while the allowance for pregnant mothers was increased up to 2000 rupees. The Mahapola allowance was also raised.

The runway of the Katunayake airport was renovated within a short period. The tourism industry has been boosted to a major source of foreign revenue.

Stringent laws were enforced on banned polythene ad plastic products. A permanent programme has been implemented for waste management.

However, the challenges faced by the country have not ceased. The President pointed out, the development of the country needs to be expedited. Debt needs to be managed and poverty needs to be alleviated. A public service free of corruption and malpractice needs to be established. He pointed out, the transitional period will be difficult.

Any country has its targets. The present government was created with the intention of achieving many necessary objectives. President Sirisena pointed out, we are not in an era where we can test political power. Contentious issues within the consensus government need to cease, since it is the people of the country that suffer. The President pointed out the necessity for the people's representatives to implement a collective agenda.