Next President will be powerless and all the powers will be with Prime Minister, says President Sirisena
President Maithripala Sirisena said that a new path for development should be selected and the people should try and understand which political structure possesses such a vision. He said that the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) should form a political movement free of corruption, malpractices and unethical political practices.
Addressing the Sri Lanka Freedom Party Convention held to mark the 68th Anniversary of the Party at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium in Colombo today (September 3), he called upon the people to strengthen the party structure enabling to form a Sri Lanka Freedom Party Government in 2020.
He pointed out that the entire political system has become corrupt, dishonest and immoral. Our responsibility is to build a political force which is pure, uncorrupt , people oriented and ethical to oust the current governance of the corrupt, elitist and anti-people groups.
Patriotism is the last salvage of the political scoundrel as evident from the actions of some politicians,he said, and urged the people to proper study to understand who is the political leader suitable to lead the country.
The President said that the SLFP should be strengthened to defeat the evil forces. “We will mobilize a people’s movement. We will make the 2020 government adhering to SLFP policies . Be prepared to show our strength. ‘Let us built the party and mobilize a new force within the next few months,’ he said.
President Sirisena explained the problems he had to face within the government. “I fought within the government prevent corruption, robberies and malpractices and to safeguard the interests of the people.Bank robbers and the corrupt should leave politics. All the documents are ready for the extradition of Arjuna Mahendran. Documents are also ready to punish the leaders responsible for the bank scam,” he said.
The President said it is unfortunate that the Provincial Councils have become ineffective. “Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is the key respondent for preventing Provincial Council polls from being held,” he said and pointed out that the Prime Minister failed to present the Review Committee Report for reactivation of the PCS after the Bill was defeated in Parliament.
The President said that the government and opposition leaders hold discussions with the Northern leader purely to get their votes. “But nobody has a genuine plan. They are only thinking about the number of votes in the North of the country. It’s a tragedy.”
President Sirisena said that we should achieve a balanced development and the development process must sustainable and an efficient. He also said that the country must move towards a green economy and the success of countries with emerging economies based on the smart technology.
‘Even though whatever allegations were levelled against for the past five years of my tenure, I was committed to building a corrupt free country as well as attempted to ensure democracy’ the President said that adding the neo-liberalism concept is not suitable for our country. “During my tenure, I was able to ensure maximum freedom and democracy in the country. As I said earlier not a single civilian was targeted by the guns of State apparatus. I am proud to state that no media institute or a house was burnt down, no journalists were threatened,” he said.
“We should create a country where every community can live in peace and harmony without any fear of intimidation. It is the duty of the citizen to build a strong force against corruption. The Democracy in this country prevailed due to people’s resistance,” said the President and added, “We must gather ourselves to build a broad national movement based on our indigenous values.”
The President also pointed out that in accordance with the Constitution amendment, the next President will be powerless. Defence Ministry too will be with the Prime Minister. “SLFP therefore, more than thinking of the next Presidential Election, should pay attention to elect the next Prime Minister,” he said.
SLFP Senior Vice President Nimal Siripala de Silva, Prof Rohana Lakshman Piyadasa, UPFA General Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera and SLFP General Secretary Dayasiri Jayasekera also addressed the gathering.
Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, former Prime Minister D M Jayaratne, Ministers, Parliamentarians, leaders of political parties, ambassadors and SLFP members and supporters were present on this occasion.
The full speech delivered by President MaithripalaSirisena, Chairman of SLFP at its 68th Anniversary Celebrations. (03.09.2019- Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium)
Today, we are gathering at the 68th Anniversary Celebrations of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP). Most of you here today know the history of the party. You know about the party, its leaders and how the SLFP governments developed the country. The presentations made here today remind you of many stories. Specially as citizens who received independence from the British colonial rule, protected our heritage, culture, language and the religion under the SLFP governments, as well as the working class, underprivileged people and oppressed people won their rights only under SLFP governments.
Due to the political policy of S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, the upper, privileged class who enjoyed all the benefits till then,lost those privileges. The deprived people raised their heads. What is the problem of this country today? I ask with your conscience, how many people in the country’s political field work towards the betterment of the country? Betterment of the people? It is a very small number of people. Let us build our country for the people with a humanitarian sense while protecting our culture. What is the percentage of our politicians who honestly rally around the policy of building our country free of corruption and fraud? This is the problem. Persons who jump like frogs from party to party do not consider about the country. All of them are considering only about their own future.
Most of the politicians in Sri Lanka considering on the subject of, what will be my next ministerial portfolio, how to become a Member of Parliament or what about the Chairmanship of a state body? This is the issue that people of our country must resolve. The best evidence to decide which is the best organization or political party, who are the better people, what is their history. People who don’t have a history have no evidence. The true evidence is the history. The SLFP through its history has provided evidence of its service. I must clearly state that the SLFP is the most respected owner of the history of state governance that is free of corruption and fraudulent while preserving our indigenous culture and heritage.
There are a few points that we should pay our attention to. The first one is the question, are we ready to follow further the so-called developmental path that we claim to have followed for 7 decades?, which comprises of robbery and fraud? or otherwise attempt to identify an alternative route and follow that.
The second one is, if we are ready to select such an alternative and innovative path, we should recognize which the correct political vision that will pave the way for such kind of development model.
Thirdly, the people have to choose a political force with such a kind of alternative development path and a political viewpoint and the leadership for it. If we honestly take a look at the current political situation, can you tell where the right things are? Can you prove to yourself who has the right thing? Can you explain that the right path is with that political party or with that leader? The entire Sri Lankan political structure is confused, pitiful and sorrowful. When considering this situation in the country, it is pathetic. That is the real situation. We can say many things on television, can express many views holding press conferences. We can speak loudly. But are the problems solved? No.
The future of this noble land, the custodian of untainted Buddhism for more than 2500 years and based on the concept of non-violence, lies in the hands of politicians. The development we should achieve as rulers is the one that ensures the victory of aspirations of every single citizen. We should achieve a balanced development and the development process must sustainable and an efficient. He also said that the country must move towards a green economy and the success of countries with emerging economies based on the smart technology.
The process of the development can be expedited through technology. We can go hand in hand with the SMART technology by embarking on the journey of digitalization.
Even though whatever allegations were leveled against during the past five years of my tenure, I was committed to building a corrupt free country as well as attempted to ensure democracy. I even had to fight to eradicate corruption and to bring the country back on the right track of development. My attempt was to create a disciplined society in which the equal rule of law and justice prevail.
I swam against the tide during the election on January 8th , 2015. People of this country and those who engaged in active politics are aware how mammoth the challenge was at that time. Some have conveniently forgotten the promises they made to the people before forming the government amidst various difficulties. The government was able to achieve some of its objective. However, the other party of this government was engaged in some activities that I cannot approve at all and not in the interest of the country. The extreme liberalism is not suitable to us. I think the new liberalism is a political voodoo spell cast on this country. Nevertheless, we must realize one thing. Unfortunately, the upper class has failed to recognize the positive interventions made by a non-aristocratic President.
This very upper-class political force, drags the country backwards by deceiving the public. As the local saying goes, this is what you call‘HakkeBuduRasBokke Dada mas’ (Pretenders to Buddhism, while illicit meat in the stomach). Hooliganism is their very base. The prime responsibility of this era is to uncover this deception and take every step to defeat it.
The prime responsibility ahead of us today is to form the widest possible platform to reach this objective. The movement that we build should be the compass of the development, politics and the leadership of this country. The non-aristocratic political ideology should be the magnet of this compass. Political racketeers and the elitist class have come together. The general public should understand their duplicity. They do not belong to a specific race or religion. They have flocked together.
That is what the SLFP should recognize. The corrupt aristocracy and the elite are still a secret to the people. It is necessary to reveal it. The majority of the country is innocent and they are powerless. The future politics of the country depends on the decision of this innocent proletariat.
This class is not interested in racism or religion extremism. Their battle is against the hunger. However, the elite politicians are always trying to inject communalism and religious extremism to them. As I once quoted, I would like to explain to you that patriotism is the last resort of pseudo-political scoundrel.
The Sri Lanka Freedom Party is the political party of the common man in Sri Lanka. We, as SLFP must understand our responsibilities and sense of duty. I was opposed by the aristocratic and corrupt elite that became a single faction. For four and a half years I had not to work for the country, I have to fight with them for it. The country is still corrupt. Where there is no corruption in this country, what is the status of Parliament, Provincial Councils and Local Authorities? Currently, Colombo Municipal Council and other Local Authorities are corrupt. The people have to give millions to chairmen to approve a building or land plan. I am asking if this is not so? Both the government and the opposition have provincial council bodies. So, who areresponsible? The government and the opposition have not taken any remedial action to prevent corruption in this country. The government and the opposition never guarantee that they will prevent corruption. Because of all the local government institutions they own are corrupt. Therefore, it is imperative that we understand these situations.
It is important to find out who is the most suitable politician for this country today. The respondents of the Central Bank robbery, that created the biggest humiliation to this government, should immediately withdraw from politics. They talk about the upcoming presidential election. There are more to be revealed in the coming days indeed. All the documents are ready now to seek extradition of ArjunaMahendran to Sri Lanka. The documents are also ready to bring bigger men than ArjunaMahendran as suspects before courts.
What happened to the voting power of the people in this country? It has already ended. There is no provincial council election yet again. Thousands of public officials are on the payroll. There are trillion of assets in provincial council administration. The Provincial Council system and the Provincial Council election have been nailed down. According to the opinion of the Supreme Court, the relevant report of the Parliament has not been submitted by the Prime Minister. Can’t say when that will happen again. The first respondent is the Prime Minister. That is why we have the responsibility of resurrecting this common political force and carrying out the moral and historical responsibility of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party.
I trust what the country needs now is the politicians backed by policies of honest and condescend in nature. The government and opposition politicians are currently engaged in secret discussion with the politicians in the North with the sole purpose of getting votes to win the forthcoming election. They took four years to prepare a new Constitution and spent millions of Rupees for this purposes. But nothing substantial came up. Both the government and the opposition parties are in communication with the leaders in the North only to gain their support. No one has a visionary plan.
Some ask me why I cannot act as previous Presidents. You know I am the 6th President. With the introduction of the 19th Amendment I have put a stop to working a similar manner as my predecessors. A Presidential candidate has to spend more than 4500 million Rupees for his election campaign. Under the 19th Amendment the next President will be powerless, irrespective of the personal achievements of the candidate. He will not even have the Ministry of Defence under his purview. All the powers will be vested with the Prime Minister. Neither general public nor the media pay attention to this fact and they only focus on the candidate. One must not forget that the leader who will rule the country in 2010 will be the Prime Minister and not the President. Hence, we should be more eager to elect a suitable Prime Minister.
During my tenure, I was able to ensure maximum freedom and democracy in the country. As I said earlier not a single civilian was targeted by the guns of state apparatus. I am proud to state that no media institute or a house was burnt down, no journalists were threatened. I have no such allegations against me.
We all, including the respectable citizens of this country, should commit ourselves to build a virtuous society. The Sri Lanka Freedom Party should take the lead to ensure the right of peaceful co-habitation between Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim, Burgher and Malay in this country nurtured with the teachings of the Buddha. We must fulfill that responsibility of ours.
Poverty is the main issue we are faced with as a country. We should have honest and patriotic politicians in order to find solutions to this pressing issue. The participation of the number of intellectuals and academics should be increased. We need people who are a proper understanding of the realities at the ground level.
The country should be taken over by a group who engage in politics for the sake of the country. As the Sri Lankan Freedom Party we must strengthen ourselves against traitors and corrupt political practices of this country.
A few days ago, I saw a government politician who talks too much went to Kuliyapitiya and say something. According to him, year 2015 was a mistake for them, when the Presidential candidate was chosen. Also he stated that they would never choose candidate like before again. If they do that, they would not even be able to go to the street, he said. I have to tell them, because I am the President of the country, I fought from within the government, and I was able to make decisions to save the interests of the country. Finally I could decide to remove Mr. RanilWickremesinghe as Prime Minister. If I did not fight corruption and theft, they all would have lost everything. I am in the government to protect the country, to protect the people and to protect democracy. If I didnot fight back in the last four and half years, they would have lost face and lost their clothes including their underwear.
So, you and we can build a better future together. What we need is a broad, nationalist, progressive, and humanist political movement. This is the next presidential election campaign we have started. We are holding district conferences within the next few weeks. They strengthen the party. We are building a people’s political front.
Many of you have inquired who is the Presidential Candidate, and to whom the party is supporting. I will give one answer for it. I tell all of you that we are creating the 2020 government which is adhering to our policies and our vision. Be ready for it. Let’s demonstrate our strength. Sri Lanka Freedom Party turns 68. I’m 68 too. 68 means maturity. Let’s build our party with a great vigour which will pave the way to create a political transformation in this country, and to form a new government by 2020 following a revolutionary struggle.
Victory for you!