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DateLine Sunday, 25 May 2008

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People hail Pillayan’s entry into democratic stream

The Provincial Council Election in the Eastern Province was concluded last week. According to final results, President Mahinda Rajapaksa appointed the TVMP leader Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan as the Chief Minister.

When the `Sunday Observer’ interviewed people about the Chief Ministerial appointment, a teacher, attached to Jaffna Hindu College and living in Bambalapitiya, Nirmala Sellahewa welcomed the Government’s decision in appointing Pillayan as the Chief Minister in the Eastern Province.

“He is the most suitable candidate because he is the only person who has the courage and the ability to tackle the LTTE leadership”.

She said after this appointment the Chief Minister cannot play his usual ‘hide and seek’ game any longer as he has lots of responsibilities to fulfil for the sake of people.

“I think the CM should first bring a peaceful atmosphere to the entire Eastern Province in order to stop killings that we hear almost everyday”.

Private sector Executive, Adrian Mendis welcomed the appointment of Pillayan and said that the new CH has to play a positive role to bring unity among Tamils and Muslims in the Province.

He said after the appointment of Pillayan many Muslims are of the view that the new CM will not fulfil the aspirations of the Muslim community.

“Therefore, I urge Pillayan to call for a public meeting before he assumes duties and brief all communities in the District about the future development plans he is expected to carry out.

Advanced Level student of Pushpadana Balika Vidyalaya, Kandy, Swarna Rambukwella is confident that Pillayan and his group could tackle the LTTE easily with the support of the Government.

She said the President would have appointed Pillayan, because Pillayan could do a better job to bring the LTTE to the democratic stream. Dental surgeon of Gampaha, Dr. Hasitha Illukkumbura suggested that Pillayan should hold a public rally in the Province before he assumes duties and the rally should be addressed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and ministers.

He urged the new CM to set up medical centres, schools, low income housing projects, roads and water distribution projects for drinking and agricultural purposes.

Tour guide, Sohan Ariyadurai who is attached to a tourist hotel in Batticaloa, welcomed the appointment of a Chief Minister to the Eastern Province and urged the new CM to take steps to further develop the tourism industry in the Province.

“If the CM takes steps to create a better security situation in all three districts, Trincomalee, Amapara and Batticaloa, we are confident that we can bring tourists from Colombo, so that, we will be able to generate employment opportunities to youth in the Province”.

As a retired schoolteacher, Ariyadurai also said some schools in the Province lack of educational equipment and as a result several small schools have been closed down.

“I hope the new administration under the leadership of Pillayan will fulfil the needs of schoolchildren, while providing housing and other sanitary facilities to displaced people who have now returned to their homes”.

University lecturer, Ranjan Amirthanayagam said that although there are parliamentarians in the Province, no one is interested in the area development activities.

“Therefore, I urge the new CM to appoint at least a committee to look into the grievances of people and provide their needs such as medical centres, hospitals, bridges, banks, schools and so on”.

Private sector worker, Kamal Sujeewa of Gampaha wanted the new CM Pillayan to start development activities with foreign assistance rather than waiting for the Central Government, since the Government too running out of funds due to the unending war.

Photographer, Sasanka de Siva of Moratuwa wanted Pillayan to send sportsmen and women from Eastern schools to schools in the Southern Province, so that sporting links among communities can be strengthened. He also urged the new CM to construct playgrounds, repair dilapidated roads and also provide electricity in remote villages in the Eastern Province.

Executive in the Railway Department, Tyronne Preena wanted the new Chief Minister to improve the rail services between the East and the South, since it will benefit the agricultural community of both provinces.

Medical practitioner Dr. Kanchana Pushpamal of Galle said the new CM Pillayan was the ideal person to talk to the LTTE leader Prabakaran and urged the President or any other Government minister to encourage Pillayan to take up the challenge.

Garment factory owner, Srinath Kapuruge welcomed the appointment of new CM and urged him to establish new industrial zones in the Eastern Province in places such as Katunayaka, Biyagama and Seethawaka with foreign collaboration.

“It will largely help to provide employment to youth in the Eastern Province”.

Mercantile sector employee, Dharmasiri Ananda of Kaduwela asked the new CM to take immediate steps to improve the agricultural sector in these three provinces by granting bank loans to farmer families and also the fisher families.

D. K. Wasantha of Ambalangoda said “I urge the new CM to expedite the work of housing construction to improve the resettlement process of displaced persons, since the current records reveal that nearly 120,000 people have returned to their homes”.

Private Sector employee, R. B. Gunawardana of Padukka proposed the Government to hold ministerial conferences in the three provinces every week, so that, people can put forward their grievances and proposals.

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