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Mahinda predicts seventy per cent of voters will come to the polls

ELECTION FEVER – Crowds greet Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa as he arrives at a venue to speak in Kandy on Tuesday/PMD

ECONOMYNEXT – Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa is confident that despite COVID at least seventy per cent of voters will come to the polls at the Parliamentary General Elections on August 5.

Rajapaksa made this comment to the outgoing German Ambassador in Sri Lanka Jörn Rohde when he made a farewell call at Temple Trees this morning.

Ambassador Rohde is completing a four-year tenure as Berlin’s envoy to Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

Discussing bilateral ties, the Ambassador said Germany’s policy towards Sri Lanka hasn’t changed, and it will always be supportive, a press release from the PM’s office said.

Diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and Germany go back 66 years. A key priority for Sri Lanka now is to attract investors, especially after the grave impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the economy.

The Ambassador also informed Prime Minister Rajapaksa that two Sri Lankan-German Training Institutes similar to the one that was established in Killinochchi in 2016, will be set up in Matara and Ratmalana.

Ambassador Rohde also said that he plans to keep visiting Sri Lanka and that he hopes tourism will return to normalcy soon, noting that European countries are also experiencing similar problems in the tourism sector due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

Germany has been one of Sri Lanka’s most reliable markets for tourism. A total of 1,495,055 tourists had visited Sri Lanka by October 31, 2019. Germany is the source of the second highest in tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka from Europe.

Yesterday campaigning in Kandy in support of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna candidates the Prime Minister reminded his audience about the terror unleashed in the Kandy area during the R Premadasa regime.

He said many students were murdered and their bodies were thrown in the river.

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(Colombo, July 22, 2020) Reported by Arjuna Ranawana