Political stability, vital for economic growth - Minister Lakshman
The concluded Northern Province elections was ample testimony that
democracy is vibrant in the country. A party which has a policy
different to that of the government captured power in the Northern
Provincial Council. The inflow of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) has
showed the political stability of the country. When there is political
stability, there will be increased foreign investments. Restoration of
peace in the country and the inflow of direct and indirect investments
prove political stability prevails in the country, Investment Promotion
Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardana said in an interview with the Sunday
Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardana
A new Ministry entrusting the task of “Investment Promotion” was
established under the Gazette Notification No 1796/10 dated February 6,
2013, as amended by Gazette Notification No 1798/13 dated February 18,
2013. Minister Abeywardana was appointed as the subject Minister and
Faizer Mustapha was appointed as his deputy.
In the several elections including Presidential, Provincial and local
Government elections UPFA led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa recorded a
landslide victory and it depicts the masses have rallied round the
President and the Government. The UPFA led by President Mahinda
Rajapaksa will capture the power of Western and Southern Provincial
There is a stable political situation in the country that has led to
the inflow of foreign investments towards the country. Several new
foreign direct investments from European countries are to come to Sri
Lanka. This depicts their trust in the political stability in the
country. The economy of certain countries have totally collapsed because
there is no political stability due to internal conflict. Sri Lanka has
turned into a fast growing country in the region. Minister Lakshman Yapa
Abeywardana is a representative of Matara District and was formerly
Minister of Media, Deputy Minister of Economic Development, and Minister
of Foreign Employment Welfare.
He was born to a prominent political family in Matara in the Southern
Province, where his father held local and provincial leadership
positions. He was educated at Mahinda College, Galle.
Abeywardana has been a proponent of various micro-level development
programs to enable the people to improve their quality of life. He is
the Chairman of the Lakshman Yapa Abeywardana Foundation.
Abeywardana resides in Colombo. He is married and has three sons.
Q: Are you confident that Western and Southern provinces can
be captured by the UPFA?
A: Of course, all communities without race, cast religious and
colour differences have rallied round President Mahinda Rajapaksa and
the Government. President's prediction will never go wrong. UPFA will
capture both provinces with a thumping majority. President Mahinda
Rajapaksa is a leader who knows the heartbeat of the people who live
below the poverty line.
He has implemented a large number of infrastructure and livelihood
development programs covering, Gampaha, Colombo, Kalutara, Galle, Matara
and Hambantota districts. The infrastructure development projects
implemented by the Government is enough to ascertain the victory of
In addition these provinces have achieved tremendous development
within the concluded couple of years under the guidelines an
instructions from President Mahinda Rajapaksa from time to time. The
people have realised what happened to the country in the past. The
innocent civilians were mercilessly assassinated by the LTTE. All who
know the past will take their decision loyal to the Government that
eliminated the terrorism.
Q: Can you explain the connection between the political
stability and economic growth?
A: Economic growth is possible only when there is political
stability in a country. There is a close link between political
stability and economic growth. When there is political stability and
well-developed infrastructure facilities there will be an inflow of
Restoration peace and development of infrastructure facilities have
made Sri Lanka into a favourable destination for foreign investments.
Sri Lanka has been on the investment radar after the Commonwealth
Business Forum of the CHOGM and we have now witnessed increased appetite
for investments by foreign investors around the world as global
investment giants and Corporates have turned their lenses to Sri Lanka.
One very significant point is that in recent months my Ministry and
the BOI developed a catalogue of structured projects. This has made it
much easier to attract investments since the international investors
seek structured projects where they can place their money.
Sri Lanka needs investments that will safeguard our environment,
adheres to laws of the land and also helps in sustainable economic
development. At the Investment Promotion Ministry, we are willing and
ready to engage with any serious investors who wish to take advantage of
various investment opportunities and prospects in our country.
Q: What is your opinion of the entrance of younger generation
A: I welcome the emergence of a younger generation of
politicians since they can really feel the pulse of the youth, the
future of the Nation. We have in fact already seen this new generation
enter Parliament, the Provincial Councils, Pradeshiya Sabhas and other
local government bodies.
The President understands well the potential of the youth in the
development of the country. I too have a young Deputy Minister of
Investment Promotion, Faizer Mustapha, to assist me in this important
task. President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s vision is based on the notion that
the Future Sri Lanka’s foundations are being built by today’s youth.
This is a winning strategy.
Q: Can you explain the success behind CHOGM?
A. There are many lessons to be drawn from CHOGM.
The first is that the whole country drew enormous pride in the fact
that Sri Lanka hosted this International forum and every quarter in the
country worked tirelessly to make it a success.
In addition, world leaders, their delegations and the thousands of
businessmen accompanying them saw first hand that a “New Sri Lanka” had
emerged since the end of the war against terrorism. They were able to
appreciate the fact that this country has gone a long way and offers
excellent opportunities as a destination for business, tourism and
investment. Sri Lanka will definitely stand to gain from CHOGM in the