Whatever said and done by political opponents, the government would rule the country for the next five years without any hiccup to meet the targets set by UNP-SLFP led consensual government, President Maithripala Sirisena said today.
“Some opposition members expect that the government is short-lived based on the results of the elections. Their thinking is that days are numbered for this government and must be toppled before long. I must tell them that this government will go for its full term of five years,” President Sirisena said at the swearing in ceremony of State, and Deputy Ministers at the Presidential Secretariat.
He reminded a similar statement made by late Prime Minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike after he won the 1956 Parliamentary elections and appealed to his political adversaries not to try to give birth to a child before he or she completes their full term in the womb enabling a healthy child birth.
“Here were criticism, insults, bitter abuse and brickbats levelled at the government from its very inception. They said a patriotic government has been replaced in a conspiracy hatched by the Western and Imperial powers with a government that danced to the tune of the West.
“Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and I are ready to answer to those allegations in the future. I must tell them that this government would never bow down to any foreign power or succumb to any pressure as we have a tradition, culture and civilization we can look up to.
“We would never intend to put a black mark on that great history to the day we breathe our last,” President Sirisena emphasized.
President Sirisena said that all four religions practiced in Sri Lanka teach reconciliation, brotherhood and compassion and that the people must decide what was good for them.
“They must realise the importance of unity, love and understanding. We can’t go forward any more without unity and mutual understanding between each other. The National Unity Government has targeted to make Sri Lanka the Centre of Excellence in Asia in the next five years through a common and uninterrupted programme. The two-year National Unity Government will show us whether the journey we started would be a success or not,” he said.
President Sirisena said the selection of Cabinet Ministers, State Ministers and Deputy Ministers was not an easy task and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe had spent several sleepless nights and the situation was difficult as he had to pick ministers and deputy ministers from different political parties. (Sandun A. Jayasekara)
Pix by Pradeep Pathirana