President Maithripala Sirisena said today all Sri Lankans should rise up for unity just as late Anagarika Dharamapala said Sinhalese should rise to save their nation from the colonial powers.
“The vision of unity was the policy of the UNP when it was first launched in 1946 but we have not been able to fulfill it so far. We still talk about unity 70 years later,” he said.
President Sirisena expressed these views while speaking at the UNP’s 70th anniversary celebration at Campbell Park this morning.
He said the dream of United National Party founder leader and country’s first Prime Minister DS Senanayake to achieve political and economic freedom through unity was yet to be fulfilled.
“We have yet to realize UNP Founder Leader DS Senanayake’s mission of achieving political and economic development through unity and to prevent the international forces from intervening in the country’s sovereignty, to safeguard the heritage of majority community, and the heritage of others and to safeguard Buddhism while giving the freedom for other religions. This failure had resulted in a 30- year-old war,” President Sirisena said.
“All Sri Lankans should rise to fulfill this dream. Late Anagarika Dharamapala said Sinhalese should rise to save their nation from the colonial powers. I call all Sri Lankans to rise up for unity,” the President also said.
He said majority of the 6.2 million votes he received at the last Presidential elections were from the UNPers. “I thank you for inviting me for the 70th anniversary of the party which gave me majority of votes at the presidential election,” he added (Yohan Perera)