(The policy statement made by His Excellency Gotabaya Rajapaksa, President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka at the inauguration of the Fourth Session of the 8th Parliament of Sri Lanka.)
Honourable Speaker, Honourable Prime Minister,
Honourable Leader of the Opposition,
Honourable Ministers, Honourable State Ministers, Honourable Members of Parliament,
I have this opportunity to address you as the Head of State of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka consequent to the historic victory granted to me by the people of this country on the 16th of November.
I express my gratitude to all citizens, institutions and all political parties who were committed to a peaceful, free and fair election.
Irrespective of the political party you, the Honourable members in this August Assembly belong to, together all of us have as our prime responsibility to work for the betterment of the people of this country.
I have served this nation as an Army Officer for twenty years, and as Secretary of Defence for nearly another ten years.
Even though I was not actively engaged in politics, I have experienced what service to the people is, from an early age.
My father’s elder brother, D. M. Rajapaksa, began his political journey in the State Council in 1936, representing the Hambantota electorate. After his demise in 1945, the people of Hambantota elected my father, D. A. Rajapaksa, to the State Council. Later, he was elected through the popular vote as a Member of the country’s first Parliament.
From that time until now, many members of the Rajapaksa family, hailing from the rural village of Medamulana in Giruvapaththuwa, Ruhuna, have served as elected public representatives. There have not only been Members of Parliament, Deputy Ministers, Cabinet Ministers, a Deputy Speaker of Parliament, a Speaker of Parliament, a Leader of the Opposition and a Prime Minister, but also two Presidents elected to office by the people, who reposed their trust in us.
From the first day the honourable D. M. Rajapaksa, known as the Lion of Ruhuna, appeared in the State Council, he wore a maroon coloured shawl.
What he symbolized through this maroon shawl were the millet farmers of Giruvapaththuwa.
Following D. M. Rajapaksa, my father D. A. Rajapaksa and each member of the Rajapaksa family who was elected to Parliament wore the maroon shawl.
Even though I do not wear this shawl, I stand for the same profound philosophy of constant dedication to the poor that is symbolized by the maroon shawl.
It is this same philosophy that is embodied in the Policy Statement I presented during my Presidential election campaign.
Honourable Speaker, I now take this opportunity to table the “Visions of Prosperity and Splendour” Policy Statement.
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