President Maithripala Sirisena says the objective of his Government is to take the country forward, together with all people, despite criticism.
Speaking at a ceremony on Wednesday to inaugurate the new outpatient department and ward complex built at the Kalavanchikudi Base Hospital in Batticaloa, the President said the Government was committed to strengthening reconciliation in a way which ensured that the country was not divided.
He said his intention was to build a country in which all communities could live in peace and harmony and the Government would do its part to see that a war would not reoccur. The initial activities in this regard will be completed within the next few months despite the opposition of certain groups, the President said.
“Though some groups criticise the Government using the democracy and freedom in the country, we will fulfill the responsibility of building the country by taking those criticisms as strengths,” he said.
The new outpatient department and ward complex were built at a cost of Rs. 514 million, which was contributed by both the Government and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The President inspected the new ward complex unit and registered the first patient to the new unit. He also felicitated several officials who have contributed to the development of healthcare in the region, including Eastern Province Health Minister A.L.M. Nazeer.
A portrait of the President drawn by a student from Pattirappu National School in Batticaloa was presented to him at the event.
President Sirisena also launched the ‘Third Year of Sustainable Era’ national program in the Eastern Province at a public rally held at Alighar grounds in Eravur.
Several programs, including the provision of housing loans and homes to people in the Eastern Province, were also launched at the event. The President said all development activities in the Eastern Province should be completed within the next three years.
During his tour in the Eastern Province, President Sirisena also made a surprise visit to the Sammanthurai Muslim School. Engaging in a tour of the school, the President met with students and inquired after their wellbeing. The President also visited the Kalmunai Ladies’ College and asked about the educational needs of the students.
Dignitaries including the Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan, Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, Minister Daya Gamage, Deputy Ministers Ameer Ali and Faisal Cassim, Governor of the Eastern Province, Austin Fernando, Chief Minister Nazeer Ahamad, Eastern Provincial Council Minister Ariyawathi Galappaththi and Japanese Ambassador Kenichi Suganuma participated in these events.