'I don’t expect interference from legislators, judiciary when fulfilling duties to people'

4 February 2020 09:53 am - 11     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, in his first Independence Day address today, said he was committed to fulfilling the needs of the people and that he did not envisage public officials, lawmakers or the Judiciary to impede him in implementing this commitment.

Clad in his simple attire but adorned with badges awarded during his military career, President Rajapaksa took part in his first Independence Day celebrations as the President at today’s 72nd Independence Day celebrations held at the Independence Square in Colombo.

In a rather brief address, the President said it was his responsibility and duty to work towards fulfilling the needs of the people of the country.

“I do not envisage public officials, lawmakers or the Judiciary to impede my implementing this commitment. I not only respect your freedom, but I will work towards improving it and guarantee the political and economic freedom in a truly democratic country,” he said.

He said every citizen living in Sri Lanka had the right to live freely and securely and that the government would always ensure the people’s right to think freely, hold independent opinions, and express themselves without any hindrance.

“We will always respect the right of any citizen to follow the religion of his or her choice. Every citizen has the right to free association and of free assembly. We will always defend the right of every Sri Lankan citizen to participate in the political and governance processes through his or her elected representatives. We consider all these as rights of human beings that no one can challenge,” he said.

The President said he has the vision that he must serve as the leader of the country looking after all citizens rather than serve as a political leader concerned only about a particular community.

“We have many challenges ahead of us. We need everyone’s support for the efforts taken by the government to overcome them. The Policy Statement I placed before you comprise an action plan that will allow us to overcome the challenges before us. It is our expectation to create a prosperous nation through this. Only the present generation can realize this hope on behalf of future generations. I request all Sri Lankans to join with us in accepting this responsibility that history has bestowed upon us,” the President said.

The celebrations which lasted only about two and half hours was attended by First Lady Ayoma Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and wife Shiranthi, former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya PC, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, Attorney General Dappula De Livera, Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa, Ministers, MPs, foreign envoys and other dignitaries.

At the invitation of Acting Chief of Defence Staff and Army Commander Lt Gen Shavendra Silva, Commander-in-Chief of Land Forces of the Russian Federation, General Oleg Salyukov also attended the celebrations as a special guest.

The 72nd Independence Day celebration was the first of Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa after assuming duties in the office. Notable absentees of the ceremony were former President Maithripala Sirisena and former prime minister and UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe.

The previous Yahapalana Government’s tradition of singing the National Anthem in Tamil was abandoned at this year’s celebration as it was sung only in Sinhalese.

The national anthem was not sung at all at the end of the ceremony and President Rajapaksa left the event after greeting the crowd gathered to watch the celebrations which included military parades. (Lahiru Pothmulla)

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  Comments - 11

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  • Anmanpan Tuesday, 04 February 2020 10:14 AM

    Thanks for the big talk. Put the looters in jail and some are on the same stage you are making these statements. Show by action and not talk talk.

    Bobby Pereira Tuesday, 04 February 2020 10:30 AM

    Anmanpan- Why are you so negative Man? I have never seen anything positive from you. You should consider changing your name to Gonmanpan.

    cheers Tuesday, 04 February 2020 10:19 AM

    Country is on the right footing and you established National security and intelligence with renowned confidence to people where Yahapalanaya sucked and put the country in jeopardy. People spoke on the 16th november so please look after them and they will praise your efforts just like ending the war

    Sarath Tuesday, 04 February 2020 10:49 AM

    If you want to put country in right path why are you appointing unsuitable people to top posts just because they are relatives and friends? Very disappointed

    Ranjith Tuesday, 04 February 2020 10:50 AM

    Yes you right public officials , judiacary , never supported the previuos government but yahapalanaya did lot for the country Gotabaya you are working with same bunch of rouges ,theifs have love our country

    Andrew Silva Tuesday, 04 February 2020 11:41 AM

    In a democracy any body has the right to express his or her idea wether its right or wrong and its for the people to except it or not to except it. And the legislators are there to judge and to guide the people and no body has the right to shut the judiciary wether it's the President io the King.

    Nish Navaratne Tuesday, 04 February 2020 11:48 AM

    Yes, show leadership and set an example by punishing when your own party members carry out illegal and corrupt activities. Punishing opposition corrupt people is one thing, but punishing your own party members when they are found to be corrupt is another thing. When you do that, people will love you more. You can do it. It will bring you more credibility.

    Gota's fan Tuesday, 04 February 2020 11:50 AM

    Your Excellncy, some of the big talkers who appear to be supporting you should be kept under watch.They will ultimately pull the carpet under your feet and let you down.

    johan Tuesday, 04 February 2020 08:17 PM

    Fulfilling the duties of the people last two months nothing happened except National anthem not sung in Tamil.You can wait and see PM and their siblings will pull you down from all your efforts

    ram Thursday, 06 February 2020 03:13 AM

    there shouldn't be no one in any country who thinks everything he/she thinks is right and he is not obliged to listen and respect others' perspectives.

    VJ Thursday, 06 February 2020 08:27 AM

    The legislature, the judiciary and the executive are the three pillars of the administration. It’s their duty too to serve the people of this country. Why would they interferes with your duties? Checks and balances are vital for good governance.


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