Sri Lanka should drop popular politics to boost economy: President

June 3, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka should cut the budget deficit, drop popular politics and ideologies in meeting the challenge of developing the country, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said. “Reducing the budget deficit, investment promotion and economic development is possible after defeating terrorism,” President Rajapaksa said in a nationally televised speech at a ceremony in Colombo.

He said the military had unified the country at great human cost, and the entire country owned a debt to young people who sacrificed their lives and limbs and also their families.

Rajapaksa said the country had now eliminated the ‘border villages’ a reference to areas bordering Tamil Tiger controlled areas that were subject to frequent attacks.

“Our challenge is to remove difficult villages now,” he said.

The president said popular politics had to be dropped if the country had to go forward, whether it was education or any other area, as it was akin to treachery.

“For political ideologies we cannot sacrifice the country,” President Rajapaksa said. “We have to come out of ideologies to take the country forward.

“It is not whether it is popular but whether it is right for the