7 - Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka
All the 30 winners should be congratulated for their efforts to have come to this position. I am humbled today to continue to see you from top 10 to 20 now to 30, continuously we have had a position in the list of winners. We must thank Business Today who have over the years singlehandedly organised this event. I think the architect of this event was no other than Mr Dinesh Weerakody. The private sector needed this kind of injection, and you were able to rally round and gather all the winners and have this competition fairly and truly and say that "You have done well" for that respective year. I can tell the honorable Prime Minister one time you were here as the Leader of the Opposition. You made a brilliant speech... Today, it is a tribute, not only have you come here, you have come here as the head of the Government, as the leader of this country. People should not talk ill of other people, whether politicians or otherwise. This is very common in our culture. It is high time we refrain from such bad habits. It is a good lesson for all of us. Unpredictable things happen like what happened in USA.
Now Mr Prime Minister, I must tell you one thing. You have the 30 most top notch private sector people. Take them in to your confidence. Unfortunately its not happening. They have at least one bit of knowledge otherwise they would have not come amongst these 30 odd people. We have the former secretary of the President I'm sure he will agree with me. We are people to reckon with. So at least whenever you go overseas or leading the country in a delegation tell and get advice from these people saying "I am going here. What have you to say? What can you suggest?". This will help you to broaden your vision and broaden things that are happening day to day. Unfortunately, you're too busy for that. But I appeal to you to at least make an effort to meet these people. All the 30 people who are here. They have done extremely well in their various fields. So, I do not wish to elaborate and talk about our company. Everybody knows our company especially the Minister of Finance. Every year he looks after us very well. Of course, he has to do that. I am not against what you are doing. You need funds. So you must take the funds from the people who have the funds. You can't go and ask people who don't have the funds.
Having said that I thank and congratulate all of you. Thank you honorable Prime Minister for your patient hearing. This I thought was the appropriate time to tell you. And also the Finance Minister next time please spare us. Don't try to tax us too much and kill the goose that lays the golden egg.
Once again thank you Business Today for this wonderful event. Please continue to organise this and don't go above 30 it is too much. After some time you can think and see if you can go to 40. Thank you once again and I wish all of you greater success in the next year.