President Orders Swift Reporting on Disruptive Officials in Urumaya Program

  • No Tolerance for Deprivation of Inheritance Rights, Affirms President.
  • Acknowledgement for Dedicated Officials in Urumaya Program Success.
  • Political Unity Urged by President for Urumaya Initiative.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe has revealed that while numerous government officials are diligently working on the “Urumaya” program to distribute freehold land deeds, a small faction is attempting to undermine these efforts. He has called on the public to report any obstructive officials to their local MPs, who will then pass this information on to him directly.

Emphasizing that no one should be deprived of their rightful heritage, the President called for the support of all MPs, regardless of party affiliation, to ensure the program’s success.

President Wickremesinghe made these remarks at a ceremony held today (25) at the Weerasinghe Stadium, Ampara where symbolic land deeds were awarded to 1,758 out of 20,000 eligible recipients from 17 Divisional Secretariat Divisions in the Ampara district under the “Urumaya” national program, which aims to distribute 02 million freehold land deeds.

The President symbolically participated in awarding freehold land deeds. Addressing the gathering President Wickremesinghe further stated that;

“Today, all of you will receive free land rights. It is your responsibility to protect these rights and pass them on to your children. When this program started, some questioned why these land rights were being given. We are granting these land rights under the same laws by which the colonizers acquired the land. This is your legacy. We plan to distribute 02 million “Urumaya” freehold land deeds across the country. To facilitate this, we have taken steps to increase the staff of institutions, including the Survey Department.

Government officials are working hard to ensure the success of this program, and many people are in support. However, reports have surfaced about a group of officials intimidating the public. These officials are questioning why these lands are being allocated, suggesting they could be reclaimed by the government. If any officer harasses you in this manner, please report them to your local MP. I have instructed MPs to investigate these officials and report back to me.

Such subversive behaviours by a few officers undermine the hard work and respect of their diligent colleagues, and it cannot be tolerated. I urge MPs to visit the district and divisional secretariats to identify and verify those eligible to receive these lands and relay this information to us. Governors have also been informed to support this initiative. Together, we can make this program efficient. Therefore, I ask everyone to fully commit to this program.

Merely granting these land rights is not sufficient. We must also enhance the income sources of the farmers receiving these deeds to boost the country’s agricultural production. To this end, we have initiated the agricultural modernization program that will provide the necessary technical support for all crops; ensuring farmers receive the assistance they need to increase their yields over the next five years.

Therefore, I urge all MPs present to take the lead in distributing these land deeds to the people within the next two months, setting aside party differences.

Minister of Tourism, Lands, Sports and Youth Affairs, Harin Fernando,

The Urumaya program was launched in February this year as the President wanted to grant you with freehold land deeds. When Mr. D.S. Senanayake started the Iginiagala project, people were settled in the Ampara area. As farmers, you have been cultivating land owned by others for many years. This program, named Urumaya, was initiated because you deserve this.

Now, you own the land for your children, marking the first time in your life you have this right. It is your responsibility to protect this legacy, and the “Urumaya” freehold land deed is an honour bestowed upon your generation.

While some in politics have only offered empty promises, the President has given your legacy. Many government officials are working tirelessly for this cause. However, there are those who oppose giving you this legacy. The future is not a time for further experiments; we have already seen the consequences of such trials. Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe is the only leader capable of rebuilding this country.

Ampara District Coordination Committee Chairman, MP W.D. Weerasinghe,

Many people in the Ampara district do not have freehold land deeds. I am grateful for the President’s efforts to turn the noble concept of providing land deeds into reality.

After the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy of this country collapsed. It is your efforts that have enabled the country to recover. For the first time in many years, “Poson Udana” was held in Ampara, attracting large number of people from various castes and religions. The success of Ampara “Poson Udana” was largely due to the contributions made by President Ranil Wickremesinghe.
Former Minister Daya Gamage

Today is a very happy day for the people of Ampara district. It is important to note that the decision to grant freehold land rights to the people was made during the good governance government when Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe was Prime Minister. However, then President Maithripala Sirisena opposed this initiative, claiming the Prime Minister was trying to sell the land to America. At that time, the United States had offered us technical support for surveying these lands, and we lost USD 500 million because it was not implemented.

Despite efforts to fracture the United National Party, we, along with our party leader, always defended it. Today, our party leader has become the President of the country and restored order to a chaotic country.

Age is not a barrier to leading a country forward. Joe Biden, running for the presidency of the United States, the world’s most powerful nation, is 82 years old, while Donald Trump is 75. Our President has fifty years of experience in politics. To ensure the country benefits from his political leadership and experience, we should entrust him with the country’s leadership for the next five years.

The event was attended by various religious leaders led by Maha Sangha, along with MPs A. L. M. Athaullah, H. M. M. Harees, S. M. M. Muszhaaraff, Thavaraja Kalai Arasan, Dr. Thilak Rajapakshe, former Deputy Ministers Sriyani Wijewickrama, Anoma Gamage, Secretary to the President Saman Ekanayake, Eastern Province Governor Senthil Thondaman, Mahaweli Authority Director General Mahendra Abeywardana, Secretary to the Ministry of Irrigation Saman Darshana Padikorala, Eastern Province Chief Secretary R. M. P. S. Rathnayake, Ampara District Secretary Chinthaka Abeywickrama, Chairman at Eastern Provincial Council Chandradasa Galappaththi, local political leaders, government officials, representatives of security forces, and a large number of attendees.