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Sunday, 10 January 2016

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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 January 8.

"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 said.

"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 pointed out.

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 many others.

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