Kotikawatte-Mulleriyawa Pradeshiya Sabha:
Rousing reception, proof of my popularity - Ex chairman
Crowds welcome former Kotikawatte-Mulleriyawa Pradeshiya Sabha
Chairman, Prasanna Solangaarachchi
The administration in the periphery is vital for the country’s
development. It should have a strong rural base, said former Chairman,
Kotikawatte-Mulleriyawa Pradeshiya Sabha, Prasanna Solangaarachchi in an
interview with the Sunday Observer.
Excerpts of the interview:
Q: You are said to be the youngest Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman
in the country. What made you enter politics?
A: Yes. I am the youngest who polled the highest majority of
votes in the 2006 LG election. At that time I thought that Sri Lanka was
heading towards becoming a divided country. I had my own political
mentors in the Sri Lanka Freedom party. President Mahinda Rajapaksa,
Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the Security Forces put an end to the
decades-long terrorist menace.
Q: What can a Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman do to develop his
A: Administration in the periphery is vital for the country’s
development. It should have a strong rural base. None of my predecessors
could continue their full term in office. They were there only for a few
years, whereas I have completed more than six years in my position as
Chairman when the tenure of the Pradeshiya Sabha was extended.
A Pradeshiya Sabha member is the closest politician to the people.
People in the village areas have enormous day-to-day problems.
They need grassroots level political support to have them resolved.
Even the police some times are arbitrary in their actions. We have to
fight for justice for our people, that is my policy.
On the other hand, Local politicians should act to develop
infrastructure facilities such as roads, drainage lines, water and
electricity and set up playgrounds for students and the youth. These
facilities have since been provided by me during my tenure. The crowds
who welcome me at their doorstep are proof of my popularity. They
appreciate what I had done for them.
Q: How could you complete the development programs despite
A: I strongly believe that there should be a proper plan to
reap the dividends. I have access to all voters. I am at the beck and
call of the voters to solve their problems. I attend to my voters’
problems on Wednesdays when I visit ministries and other departments. I
visit Government institutions on Wednesdays when Ministers, Secretaries
and Directors are in their offices to attend to the needs of the people.
We need a proper strategy to achieve targets. The voters of my village
meet me on Sundays to discuss their grievances. The foundation stone of
the Bennet Cooray Playground in Mulleriyawa was laid six years ago, but
could not be completed. However, within a few months after I assumed
office as Chairman I completed it. The garbage centre at Kolonnawa,
where 15 tonnes of garbage can be processed daily, was set up under the
guidance of the Ministry of Environment. Many businessmen approached me
to buy the garbage.
Q: People are talking about thuggery, corruption and various
other malpractices at village level. What is your view?
A: I fight against malpractices as they are a menace. The
theme of my campaign is “Be Ready”. King Rajasingha II defeated the
Portuguese at Mulleriyawa.
We are following in our ancestors’ footsteps and would no doubt win
the struggle for social and economic development.