Hon. Minister of Ports and Shipping Arjuna Ranatunga at a meeting held at the District Secretariat auditorium in Trincomalee today (03) pledged that no damage would be made to the national security in developing the country.
The Minister asserted that the government would give priority for the country’s legal procedure and proceedings when considering any agreement with foreign investors. “The fact where they come from either Singapore, China, Japan or Ethiopia does not matter,” the Minister said.
The meeting aimed at discussing the issues pertaining to the lands owned by Sri Lanka Ports Authority in Trincomalee district. At the meeting, it was discussed to extend legal right of those lands to the people who have settled down and living there since several years.
The Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan, government officers and several other officials attended the meeting.
Development projects of the country should depend on the policy of the Government instead of personal interest. Foreign investments play a significant role in the developing process of a country. We have to demand them to obtain targeted economic growth. Singapore mainly depended on foreign investments when carrying out their development projects in 1980 but we never obtained them to the country at the same period of time. Hence, Singapore achieved their development targets while we lost. The time has come to learn lessons from Singapore and welcome appropriate foreign investments to the country at the same time, confirming and safeguarding national security. We should think beyond traditional ways and means,” the opposition leader said.
Minister Arjuna Rantunga said that the expectation of everyone was to develop this country as one nation.
“Currently the unity Government is implementing its development plans. It is up to the people to support the government's effort. But I confirm that the President or Prime Minister would never engage any activity which has a bad impact on national security. Opposition leader is also in the same view.
The attraction of the investors to the country would depend on Government policies and laws apply on them. But the previous regime applied poor policies and laws on investors. Politicians depended on their own benefits and personal interests when they consider investors to the country.
Hambantota harbor is a good example. I would never allow any investor to enter into any place in the country, avoiding the existing legal procedures. The rule would be the same with regards to the procedures of the Ministry of Ports and Shipping but we saw a completely deferent practice followed by the previous regime on investors. Hence, today many of them who were in previous regimes have been summoned before the law", the Minister asserted. The Secretary of the Ministry of Ports and Shipping Mr.L.P.Jayampathi and other distinguished guests also participated the discussions.