By Sandun A. Jayasekera
The final Cabinet meeting of the ‘Yahapalana’ Government, held last morning at the Presidential Secretariat and chaired by President Maithripala Sirisena, concluded with an exchange of pleasantries and mending fences if there were any difference between the two parties.
Addressing the Cabinet, President Sirisena expressed his gratitude and appreciation to the government and ministers for their support extended to fulfil most of his pledges given to the people at the 2015 presidential election campaign.
“In January 2015, I took this seat as the Head of State and of the government with an extremely-contended and passive mind. I leave this seat today in a mindset with no repentance or exultant. Whatever said and done, we have been able to reintroduce law and order, restore democracy, strengthen democratic institutions, create an independent judiciary and free media culture. Not a single State-sponsored abduction, killing or torture took place on any civilian or media person during my presidency which I recollect with a sigh of relief and happiness,” he said.
While acknowledging the sentiments expressed by President Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe thanked the President for his efforts to restore democracy and rule of law in the country for the past four and a half years.
Meanwhile, Megapolis and Western Development Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said some 3,000 protests, strikes, walks and other anti-government campaigns had been carried out in the past 57 months, but not a single protester had been fired at or shed a single drop of blood under President Sirisena’s governance.
Also addressing the gathering was Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne who said it was a record that not a single drop of blood was shed during President Sirisena’s tenure.
All ministers personally bade good wishes, long life and success to President Sirisena at the end of the meeting.