President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said that some candidates who were elected at the October 8 Local Government elections had made promises that could not be fulfilled even by him as the President.
While warning the new local body heads and their deputies of the importance of fulfilling their campaign promises, the President called on those elected to work together, without causing splits in the party.
Addressing the swearing-in ceremony of those elected to the 22 local government bodies, President Rajapaksa also said protecting the country’s people including the Ministers was his responsibility and that it was his prerogative to make security related decisions.
“I am the one who decides on the security strength that any person gets; whether it is four or five or fifteen. As the President of this country it is my duty to protect everyone. In certain instances when people have said that they need protection I have even sent the STF,” he said.
The President also referred to the election day incident, saying he was doing so despite Minister Dullas Allahaperuma advising him against it.
“All I can say is that we all learnt good lessons from that incident. All of you were happy as the election results came in but I was the only one in hot water,” he said.
He said the “historic victory” of winning 272 local government bodies was attributed to the unity of the party. “We have carried the burden of the party together without any divisions or demarcation. Irrespective of whether you are old or new in the party you are all part of one party. If we try to divide ourselves by party colours - God bless us all!,” he said.
“I know you fought for the preferential votes—you used caste and religion and communal feeling to get votes. However now leave all that at home and start working as a team,” he said adding that he was grateful to all those who helped him achieve victory.
“I know how hard people worked for my success and that of this government. I will not discard them,” he said.
The President warned the new heads and deputies of the importance of fulfilling their campaign promises. “I know some of you have made promises that you could not keep even if you became the president. But you must remember that any promises you made must be fulfilled,” he said. He said the people were more familiar with the Mahinda Chinthanaya proposals than those in government.
The President also sternly warned his party members that they should work diligently or leave their posts. “If you can work, then work hard, but if you can’t please get out and let those who can work take your place. You must not work for your own gain and then give excuses to the people—leaders don’t give excuses but only work for the betterment of their people,” he said.
The President also called the local government officials his “buffer” of ascertaining the feelings of the people. “You are our first connection to the people,” he said. “You took oaths in front of me, but I am only a symbol of the people of this country who voted for you. They are watching you and the actions you take are being closely analysed by the people, the media, other critics and even the international community,” the President said.
Speaking at the event the General Secretary of the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) Susil Premajayantha advised those elected on their responsibility towards the people. “Remember two important aspects when you take on the leadership of these local government bodies. Firstly accessibility; the decisions taken at the local government from the time of planning to implementation has to involve the people. Secondly administration; you must work in a transparent and responsible manner,” he said.
He further stated that as officials of the local government bodies, it was crucial that they worked with accountability and responsibility—for the good of the people. (Dianne Silva )
Comments - 2
gerard Monday, 17 October 2011 10:06 AM
and please monitor very closely what these leaders are upto. Take transparent action if / when they go / do wrong!
Dinesh Monday, 17 October 2011 03:30 AM
Where is the Rs.2,500/- allowance promised to Government Servants
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