President Maithripala Sirisena said today he would not hesitate to use the ‘sword’ on his relatives, friends or party supporters in his journey to create a clean, unstained and a people-friendly political culture.
“In my journey with a sword to create a clean, unstained and a people-friendly political culture and to bring up a group of unblemished and untarnished politicians, I don’t care whether it is my relatives, friends or party supporters who get cut by my sword,” the president said quoting the Bhagavad Gita.
He said he wanted to create a rule in Sri Lanka similar to that of Lichchhavi dynasty that ruled the ancient kingdom of Nepal from 400 to 750 CE and Dharmashoka who ruled India from 269 BC from 'Pataliputta'.
Addressing a convention of leaders and representatives of 31 political parties under the theme ‘Power of the country and village to Freedom’ having pledged to support and contest on the UPFA ticket under the betel leaf symbol, the President said the vow taken at the opening of the convention by all political parties was the best stepping stone to launch the campaign to create a culture of clean politics and clean politicians in the country and eliminate corruption in politics for ever.
He said politicians must not have personal agendas but a national agenda to serve the people.
"The purifying of politics and giving power to honest politicians can be started from the party leaders’ convention as there was a large number of youth who contest the LG polls from the UPFA. It is correct to say that an adult who has become a drunkard cannot be saved but a youth can be saved. In the similar manner, a youth who wishes to be a politicians must be taught not to report to thuggery, corruption or indecent acts for his political advantage. The vow taken today to that effect must be followed and protected by each and every politician who get elected to LG bodies at the forthcoming election," the President said. “We as politicians hold various ideologies, policies and programmes. Do we have ever direct out attention as a to how and why many countries that were much behind to Sri Lanka a few decades ago have now become much powerful than Sri Lanka in terms of economic progress, military power, social empowerment and living standard of the people? Why is that? Sri Lanka is lagging behind in many aspects despite the fact that we are an education nation and we have engineers, doctors, IT experts, accountants and professionals in other disciplines. We have talents in abundance but no significant development in any field. Corruption, waste, mismanagement is omnipresent. These evils are the harvest of what have sowed by present day politics and politicians. That is why we need a vow from those who have decided to embrace politics as their profession that pledges that they would never ever engaged in misdeeds, use their office for their own advantage, engage in corruption and thuggery.”
The President said there was an era in the recent past where thugs, rapists, illegal sand miners and soil mudalalis ruled the roost with the state patronage and dictated to the police and the society.
He recalled that many political parties attempted to conduct LG polls under the old system but only the SLFP and the UPFA which held that the LG polls must be held under the new electoral system.
He appealed to all political party leaders to instruct their candidates to follow the pledge that would lead to the clean administration of local government bodies. The country today needs a clean political culture than a material progress.
Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva made the welcome address while Minister Mahinda Anmaraweera also addressed the gathering. (Sandun A Jayasekera)