President Maithripala Sirisena pledged yesterday good governance would continue -- without bribery, corruption or other forms of plunder of billions of the people’s resources. He made the strong pledge in the ‘Freedom Accord’, he presented on behalf of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and about 30 other groups allied to the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) which is also led by him. It was the manifesto of the SLFP and the UPFA for the Local Council Elections to be held on February 10 next year. The ceremony was held at the BMICH and was attended by leading Buddhist prelates, clergy of other religions, SLFP or UPFA ministers and top members.
The President said in the journey towards creating a ‘clean or immaculate’ political culture for the sake of the present and future generations, he would not tolerate anyone who was involved in narrow party politics or family politics.
He reiterated that the SLFP’s main aim was to mould sincere and straightforward politicians who loved the country and its people and would not bow to anyone involved in wasteful expenditure, fraud or corruption.
He said he hoped the February 10 elections to 341 municipal, and urban councils and pradeshiya sabhas would be a major step in creating a good government in the future and he believed the people or registered voters would select good and sincere politicians at the local council elections.
In a strong and wide ranging speech, the President said he believed that no politician should have personal agendas but should have an agenda for the common good of the people of all religions and all races of our country.
He said the changing of the electoral system, with a mixture of the vote system and proportional representation system was a significant achievement of the national unity government and this system would also help to create a new culture where politicians would not indulge in business but be servants of the people and work for the common good to develop not only city and urban areas but villages also.
The President added that the SLFP-UPFA Freedom Accord was for the benefit of the country, the present and future generations. Through this accord, we could hope for a good future vision and politicians committed to a clean and sincere political culture.
He called for discipline, self-control and commitment to observe the rules and regulations during the election campaign, on the polling date and soon after the polls.
We hope President Sirisena will not confine this Freedom Accord to mere words because preaching without practicing will amount to hypocrisy and sanctimonious humbugging.
Later this week, the Presidential Commission which probed the Central Bank’s alleged bond scam is due to handover its report to the President. We hope he will take immediate and effective action based on it. We also hope that the President in line with his commitments will take action to speed up the work of the special three judge high courts set up to probe alleged acts of corruption and fraud.