The construction of the Hambantota International Port is a ‘great leap forward’, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa addressing the several thousands strong participants at the Karadiya wara Mangallaya or the ceremony to fill the port basin with sea water.
Describing the construction of the port as a massive technological achievement, he said, “We will not anymore be a nation that is satisfied with supplying only fuel and water to ships. This port must lead to the emergence of tens of thousands of employment opportunities”.
“Our Motherland is not a place to dump the waste and discards of other countries. We must transform our country as an economic centre that spreads the national brand name Made in Sri Lanka throughout the world.”
Inviting the youth to unite with the government to make the country an economic hub of the world, President Rajapaksa emphasized the need to develop an independent economy for the country without worrying that many other nations which were behind us in development have surpassed us.
He said that the construction of the Hambantota port is the prelude to the massive economic development ahead of the country. “Hundreds of ships passed daily closer to our shores but it was only other countries that yielded the benefits.”
President Rajapaksa said many persons and organizations discouraged when steps were taken to construct this harbour while some even filed cases against it.
“Some were pessimistic and said this was impossible. Today we have proved that we could do it,” President Rajapaksa said.
He said it was not the sea water that was flowing in but the prosperity of the nation. The attitude of “no” in the minds of the people should wash away with this water flowing into the harbour. An independent economy will emerge out of this harbour. This is a fine example to show how to develop the nation with its own energy, without complaining of the lack of funds and development,” the President said.
President Rajapaksa said there are forces inimical to the nation and they attempt to delay our development projects even by a day. “They don’t like us to come among the strongest nations in the world. The youth of this country should understand it properly.
The youth also know that there are organizations and political groups that find their survival using the poverty of our country and they don’t like to see us developing,” he said. The President said the government has a responsibility to develop an independent economy to fulfill the bravery of the valiant heroes who brought victory and freedom to the nation.