Our Leaders – Mr. J.R. Jayawardana
The United National Party is the party that rendered the most service to this country. The following is the enormous service rendered to this country by the people friendly leaders who were committed to such tasks.
His tenure marked a turning point in Sri Lanka with the introduction of a new constitution and a new economic system. The Mahaweli Project which was due to be completed in 30 years was renamed as the Express Mahaweli Project and several reservoirs were built including Victoria, Randenigala, Rantambe and Kotmale.
In addition to this, the Maduru-oya and Lunugamwehera reservoirs were also reconstructed contributing immensely to the Agriculture sector.
The open economy introduced by him helped in spreading the development which was formerly limited to the city to the urban areas and ended the 7 year curse of the Unity Alliance. Thanks to the Free Trade Zones that were instated in Katunayaka and Biyagama several leading international companies invested in the local market resulting in a surge in employment opportunities for the youth generating positive hopes of a bright future.
The awarding of land deeds (Swaranabhoomi) for people was also a significant event while several administrative centers such as Isurupaya and Sethsiripaya were also established to create the new capital in Sri Jayawardanapura Kotte where the new parliamentary complex was also established. The Sri Jayawardanapura hospital was constructed while Karapitiya and Peradeniya hospitals were converted in to teaching hospitals.
Free text books were provided for school children and the Mahapola scholarship programme was launched as a support for students engaged in their higher education. Universities were commenced in Ruhuna and East and the Medical faculty of the Jaffna university was also opened.
The Information Technology subject was also introduced to schools during the tenure of President J R Jayawardana.
The National Youth Services Council was launched to create a younger generation that would be capable of competing with the world, while a significant milestone in sports also took place during his tenure where Sri Lanka cricket became a Test playing nation.
Another unforgettable service rendered by Late President Jayawardana was the modernization of the Bandaranayake International Airport while also commencing the Air Lanka airline taking Sri Lanka’s name to the skies.
President J R who planned a long lasting solution to eradicate terrorism even elevated Sri Lanka’s Military to international standards and the commencement of the Police Special Task Force was a good example for it.