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    Posted April 4, 2008 by
    Sri Lanka, Colombo., SriLanka

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    Integrate country to the world economy while keeping our identity intact – President


    Integrate country to the world economy while keeping our identity intact - President


    Sri Lanka South Apr 04, 2008. (News.lk)



    President Mahinda Rajapaksa, addressing SriLankan Airlines employees at the Colombo International Airport on the occasion of taking over the management from Emirates Airline yesterday (3) stated that the Government is integrating the country to the world economy keeping its identity intact unless those who divested the national airline by embracing the new world economic order in to two. Admitting that the SriLankan Airlines was running at a loss the President said, "we must take up the challenge of running the airline profitably so that it would become a pride of Sri Lanka".




    He expressed confidence that this challenge is not beyond Sri Lankans as the Government has broken the backbone of the most formidable terrorist outfit in the world and is currently proceeding to liberate the North too from its grip. He pointed out that the world's most ruthless terrorists who attacked Sri Lanka's airports on several occasions and did their utmost to isolate us from the international community had been defeated in the East and democracy restored.


    "The country has gained formidable economic achievements such as the reduction of the unemployment rate and the enhancement of the per capita income to US$ 1,600. An economic growth rate of 6 per cent plus, has been maintained for a consecutive period of three years, for the first time following independence.


    "For a country which has overcome such significant and burning issues and political challenges, winning the SriLankan Airlines battle and making it a vibrant and profitable business venture, should not be an arduous task, provided you all rally round the management and accept full responsibility of your duties.


    "If the company fails in today's fiercely competitive airline business of the world and the region in particular, especially at a time there is a global economic recession, you ought to blame yourselves for it.

    The President was of the view that State ownership or local management alone would not suffice. In order to resurrect a loss-making and ailing airline industry and make it a national asset, a paradigm shift in the work attitudes of its staff, to tackle challenges with confidence and foresight was of paramount importance, he pointed out.


    "The local airline industry has been stagnant and lagged behind with the advent of technology. We would first have to clear the stigma of shame that has been built into the business."President Rajapaksa noted that Government employees should travel by Sri Lankan Airlines who ought to provide a better service.


    "Your fate is in your hands now. Do not assume that the responsibility of trade unions is only limited to their benefits. The trade unions should also protect the enterprise. You all should contribute collectively for the betterment of the enterprise, not only to enhance its profits, but also to enhance its pride and dignity," he said. He pointed out that the carrier should showcase the kind hospitality and the rich culture to the entire world.


    President Rajapaksa pointed out that the pioneers of the venture worked on the pretext of keeping pace with the new world economic order. However, as a nation well versed with international trade for thousands of years and having had advanced diplomatic connections with diverse nations, had the ability of viewing the world from a true perspective. It is futile to criticize the past or to curse the administration, he pointed out, stressing the importance of learning from past experience and mistakes and work for the benefit and the prosperity of the nation.

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