The President said that as a new Government many steps have already been taken to resolve problems faced by people, adding that the Government is committed to building peace and reconciliation among Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim communities while eradicating the mistrust, fear and suspicion among communities.
The President said a Special Presidential Task Force (SPTF) had been appointed under the Chair of former President Chandrika Kumaratunga to address the issues of minorities.
The SPTF would go into the matter step by step and would come up with most suitable and pragmatic solutions that would fulfil the aspirations of all communities, the President said
He made these observations participating in a ceremony to distribute title deeds of lands in the former High Security Zones being returned to the original owners. As the first step 425 acres of land were handed over to the rightful owners at the today’s function.
“The government has been given high priority to resolve land issues of the people in the North and East”, the President further said.
The President pointed out that issues on lands have caused public uprisings and revolutions as well as critical political issues in the world. Therefore, politicians should give topmost priority to solve the problems on lands among people, he said.
“If we go through the world history, the land issues have contributed to many a war, rebellion and clash all over the world since the time immemorial. It was a struggle between the land owners and those who do not posses lands.
“Karl Marx has explained very clearly that the root cause to the fight between the land lords and the proletariat was on the ownership of lands. Therefore, we politicians must pay our attention to resolve land issues all the time,” President Sirisena emphasised.
“The war had a devastating effect not only on the North–East but in all other parts of the country including Colombo. As a newly elected government with the blessings and support of all communities, the government was in the process of finding solutions to all pressing problems of the minority communities. It is no doubt that there may be setbacks to this endeavour, but most important was that the government has started to rectify the errors if there were any,” he said.
President Sirisena stated that today the Government is not only giving the lands back to the people in North, but also providing all facilities to create a better environment for the people and their children to live in contentment.
The government was also determined to reconstruct all state buildings such as hospitals, schools and other public establishments as early as possible, and that the Government is now implementing a programme to rebuild the religious places in the Eastern and Northern Provinces, devastated by war. He emphasized he would give the opportunity to the people in those areas to live in a good environment, ending their period of difficulties.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, Ministers M.K.D.S. Gunawardana, D.M Swaminathan, Deputy Minister vijayakala maheswaran, Governor of Northern Province, H.M.G.S. Palihakkara, Chief Minister of the Northern Province, C. V. Vigneswaran and other dignitaries also participated in the event.