President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, addressing the nation from Anuradhapura, yesterday, declared that he would form a new government. He said he had come before the people as the Executive President, Commander-in-chief and Defence Minister.
“I am addressing you as the Executive President of Sri Lanka, Commander- in-Chief and the Defence Minister who is responsible for your and your children’s security,” President Rajapaksa said in his inauguration speech, near Ruwanweliseya in Anuradhapura.
Rajapaksa said that he would not hesitate to use his executive powers for the betterment of society and that he would soon form a new government to implement the promises in his manifesto.
The President said that his administration would maintain friendly relations with all countries and stay out of any conflict among the world powers. “We request all nations to respect the unitary nature and sovereignty of the country, when maintaining relations with us.”
He said: “I am meeting you as the Executive President of Sri Lanka, commander in Chief and the Defence Minister who is responsible for your and your children’s safety. First of all, I must say that we were able to achieve this victory because of the blessings given by Maha Sangha.
” I knew that I would be able to win the election with the support of Sinhalese only, but I requested the Muslims and Tamils of the country to be a part of this victory. But I didn’t get the response I expected. However as the president of the country I urge you to join me in ushering in progress. I thank all those who voted for me at the election. I also thank others who voted for different candidates and exercised their democratic rights.
“I come from a Buddhist family from the South. I studied at one of the leading Buddhist schools in this country, Ananda College. Therefore Buddhist philosophy has fashioned my thinking.
I thank with respect Mahinda Rajapaksa, the fifth executive president of Sri Lanka and the leader of SLPP, who was a great strength to me and worked tirelessly for my victory throughout the election campaign. I also wish him a happy birthday. I also thank SLPP national organiser, Basil Rajapaksa, who was the driving force behind the SLPP and ensured my victory. I would also like to thank the Chairman, secretary and other officials of the party, as well as elected representatives and party members. My thanks also go out to the leaders, the party officials and members of political parties that joined us. I would also like to mention the support extended by the Sri Lanka Freedom Party. There was a lot of enthusiasm among the people. There were hundreds of thousands of people who worked for us. A lot of professionals, businessmen and intellectuals too supported us through organisations like Viyathmaga. I admire the support given by artistes, social media activists, Sri Lankans who came to Sri Lanka to vote for us and the youth, during this election campaign. Although I have not met them personally, they did their part for the country. I thank them, too.
“Now, we have the responsibility for coming together as a nation to develop Sri Lanka. You have voted for me to implement the policies spelt out in my manifesto, which promises to ensure the unitary nature, sovereignty and the security of the state This is a programme that will fulfill the aspirations of all Sri Lankans. This will create a nation that future generations will be proud to live in. I will fulfill everything in this manifesto during my tenure. Ensuring the national security will one of the fundamental responsibilities of my government. We must protect our motherland from terrorism, the underworld, drug dealers and make this country safe for women and children. I will reestablish and strengthen the security apparatus that can ensure that.
“Our administration will maintain friendly relations with all countries. We don’t want to get involved in power struggles among powerful nations. We want to remain neutral in our foreign relations and stay out of conflicts among the world powers. We request all nations to respect the unitary nature and sovereignty of the country.
“We have a prime responsibility to protect the environment for the sake of the future generations. We expect to make Sri Lanka one of the leading nations that would achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN. We will have our fullest commitment to achieve Sustainable Development Goals of the UN.
“I did not insult my opponents during the election campaign. I conducted an election campaign without plastic and polythene. We were able to set an example to others. I will enure that I will set an example when it comes to state administration as well.
“I promise to establish a state administration that ensures the rule of law and social justice. My administration will also be corruption free. As I promised in my manifesto, when tasks are assigned, priority will be given to those with abilities and knowledge. The government must always set an example to the society. Professionalism, and efficiency should be the cornerstones of government administration. Meritocracy and technocracy should be promoted at all times. Corruption will never be tolerated under my administration.
“We have a lot of responsibilities to accomplish for the sake of our future generation. We have the responsibility to empower them with knowledge to make the maximum advantage of new trends of the global economy. We will give priority to developing their skills. I will expand the use of technology in all aspects to prepare our people to face the challenges of the 21st century. I expect your support to create a moral, disciplined and lawful society. As the president my responsibility is to serve all Sri Lankans. I will respect the rights of all Sri Lankans. As per our manifesto I am willing to fulfill the aspirations of the people. We have to achieve a lot within a short time. There is nothing we can’t achieve if we have the will. There is no challenge we can’t overcome. We have the vision to develop the nation. We have presented our proposals to achieve those tasks.
“I am the Executive President of the country. I will not hesitate to use my executive powers for the betterment of society. I will form a new government that will help me implement the policies I have detailed in my manifesto. The people have voted me in to implement these policies. I love my country. I am proud of my country. I have a vision for my country. I urge all patriotic people to join me.”