Celebrating the first anniversary
After the completion of one year as the 'servant of the people',
President Maithripala Sirisena said his agenda for the next five years
will be to build his motherland to be a great nation in the world.
"Some people ask me what will be my place after the completion of my
tenure as President when I agreed to abolish the powers of the Executive
Presidency. My answer to them, as well as to those who are not asking
the same question from me is, I don't think about my place in five more
years, but think about the place of this country over the period of five
years", he said.
The President made these remarks at the national ceremony to mark the
completion of one year of democratic governance, held at the BMICH on
"People brought us to power, expecting the social democratisation of
our country. Also, they expect good economic management in good
governance by ending corruption, fraud and irregularity," the President
"In the task of building a modern Sri Lankan state, it is essential
to bring about national reconciliation and unity among the communities
by eliminating mistrust and suspicion among them, he said.
When we talk about constitutional changes some sections of society
say we are attempting to divide this country", he said, adding , "Some
say we are trying to destroy the place given to Buddhism in this country
and some say we are focusing on endangering the national security of the
country by weakening our security forces on foreign advice." These
achievements may not be felt or seen or understood, but those are the
essential ingredients of transformation towards a righteous society, he
At the ceremonial event, President Sirisena granted presidential
pardon to a former LTTE cadre, convicted on charges of attempting to
assassinate him in 2006. The LTTEer was sentenced to 10 years rigorous
imprisonment by the Polonnaruwa High Court on July 3, 2015. The sentence
was upheld by the Supreme Court.
The book titled One Nation Great Power was also launched at the
event. The keynote address was delivered by former Governor and
Ambassador Gopalkrishna Gandhi, grandson of Mahathma Gandhi.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP
Resident Representative, Subinay Nandy, also addressed the event. Other
participants included former President Chandrika Bandaranaike
Kumaratunga, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan,
Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, Ministers, MPs, politicians, artistes and