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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Sri Lanka: Rajapaksas set election agenda to fit casino owner & business tycoon Dammika Perera

Image: Campaign of the Dammika Perera has already begun.

Rajapaksa Family-led Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) has listed 10 conditions or goals for aspirants of the Presidency under its mandate.

These conditions fit to Casino king of Sri Lanka, Business tycoon Dammika Perera.

Informed sources say that the Rajapaksa family had decided to put forward Dammika Perera, knowing that winning the presidential election is almost impossible.  The family will give Rajapaksa’s elder son Namal Rajapaksa a lead role in the election campaign, hoping he could be presented as the next presidential candidate of the SLPP.

Dammika Perera has avoided paying taxes for his casino business.

Many political analysts question SLPP ability to survive as one entity in case of the demise of its uncontested charismatic leader Mahinda Rajapaksa. MR’s health has been failing in recent times.

His election campaign programme has been published  on his website  https://www.dhammikaperera.lk/  ‘

The ten conditions published by the Daily FT fellows:

 01. Strategic alliance development

Candidates must articulate a comprehensive program for building alliances with political parties, groups, and civil organisations, aiming to secure a 51% vote base at the Presidential election.

 02. International-level education

A proposed initiative should outline plans for providing globally competitive education to Sri Lankan students. Emphasis must be placed on elevating vocational training and skill development to international standards, facilitating global employability.

 03. Smart agriculture initiative

Candidates are expected to present a program focused on transforming Agriculture into a smart and efficient sector. This includes increasing fertiliser subsidies for farmers, introducing new hybrid seeds, and implementing a fertiliser recommendation system based on “soil health cards.”

 04. *Poverty alleviation and job creation

Develop a program to eradicate poverty in rural and urban areas, emphasising the growth of small and medium-scale businesses. Proposals should indicate strategies for injecting funds into these areas, aiming to create one million jobs and ensuring a stable income for all citizens.

05. Economic growth and investment attraction

Candidates should prepare and present a program to boost economic growth to 7% and expand the economy. This involves creating career opportunities through attracting local and foreign investments.

 06. Cost of living reduction

Propose measures to reduce the price of goods and the cost of living, including a review and reduction of the Value Added Tax (VAT) to alleviate financial burdens on the public.

07. Government businesses and transparency

State-owned businesses or properties must not be privatised. Instead, candidates must present plans to make existing loss-incurring Government businesses financially viable. Establishing an integrated Information and Communication Technology (ICT) platform for all public services, and implementing a system accessible to the public showcasing transparent procurement and tender procedures of the Government mirroring global standards are of crucial importance to combat fraud and corruption.

 08. University ranking enhancement

Develop a comprehensive development program to elevate all 17 state universities of Sri Lanka into the top 1,000 in international rankings. Additionally, align university courses with international job market demands to address graduate unemployment.

 09. Tourism industry boost

Present a plan to revitalise the tourism industry with the ambitious goal of attracting 5 million tourists to Sri Lanka annually.

 10. Foreign exchange stability

Introduce a new program with strategies to ensure a steady influx of dollars, preventing future foreign exchange crises. Proposals should include plans to increase remittances from overseas workers and enhance income from the export of goods and services.

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