President Sirisena’s inaugural address from the hallowed precincts of the Most Sacred Sri Dalada Maligawa

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May the Noble Triple Gem bless you all!

Most Venerable Wandaruwe Upali nayake Thera and other venerable Sangha of the Thrinikaye,

My dear friend, former minister Rajitah Senaratne, former ministers Lakshman Kiriella and Rauf Hakeem, Mr Wijayadasa Rajapakshe and other Members of Parliament and members of provincial legislatures,

Meritorious parents, children and friends,

I am indeed honoured to address the Nation from the hallowed premises of the Dalada Maligawa and it is also an honour for the common people of this country.

I express my respectful gratitude to the dear people of this country for granting me a great victory at the Presidential election held on the 8th of this month by trusting the pledges made in my Election Manifesto.

I thank all the people of my Motherland, Sri Lanka including those who voted for me, and those who voted for my opponents and those who did not cast their franchise.

I believe that this victory achieved at a peaceful election would help us to make essential transformations in political, economic, social and cultural spheres in the country.

“Sabba papassa akaran – Jusalass upa sampada Sachiththa pariyo dapanan – Ethan buddhana sasanan”.

It is essential that we always bear pure thoughts. Impure thoughts lead to sinful deeds. Pure thoughts will lead to meritorious acts and that will create a pure and humane society, which in turn will be useful to build an intelligent society. We should love not only the other human beings, but also all beings, the son, the moon, rivers and lakes, flora and fauna and the entire nature on this earth. We should love them and protect them.

Standing on this historical sacred land, I invite all the political parties represented in Parliament to join a National Government in order to build a free nation where the present generation as well as unborn future generations could live in a moral, righteous society that respects rule of law and good governance, an independent, democratic nation free of poverty. I trust the political parties represented in Parliament will accept my invitation to join hands for the sake of the common people of this country.

We are aware of the hardships faced by the people and as promised in the election manifesto, immediate steps will be taken to bring down the cost of living, end poverty and provide relief to the people and provide a prosperous strong economy for the people.

I pledged from this sacred precincts to implement the policy manifesto and transfer the absolute powers of the executive presidency to the parliament, cabinet, judiciary and independent commissions.

There are many tasks to be fulfilled. In order to establish our national identity, I see it is essential to maintain cordial and fruitful international relations. Establishing a broad friendship with all nations and organizations of the world, we could obtain their cooperation for our task of developing our country and secure the future of our people. As a Buddhist country while striving to uplift Buddhism, the government will also take steps to ensure the religious rights and freedom of all religions, Hindu, Islam, Christian and other religions. Ethnic and religious reconciliation will be our priority. We will strive to build a disciplined society rich in cultural and moral values where all could live in harmony irrespective of differences.

Ours is an agriculture based economy. Hence, we will take steps to uplift agricultural sector and empower farming community. We will also take steps to develop agriculture and local industries and that he will use new innovations and modern technology to improve the two sectors. Thus the economy of the country will be built on a firm foundation.

The public service eroded with corruption will be transformed into an efficient service and an environment conducive for the public servants to do their duty with satisfaction will be created. Bribery, corruption and malpractices in the process of development will be eliminated and the police will be made an unbiased and independent service. At the same time we will take steps to support the private sector which supports the economies of more than five million of our people.

There are nearly 2.5 million migrant workers and most of them are housemaids. They are the largest foreign revenue earners of the country. The government will take every possible step to provide assistance for their future and to improve their economic conditions.

We will take steps to fully implement the 100 day programme on schedule and continue to usher in necessary development transformations as a government. We are totally committed to fulfill that task for the Motherland. The destruction of ethical and socio-cultural values has led to grave suffering, through massive waste and abuse and corruption and absolute impunity. We need therefore to provide immediate relief to those who are oppressed, and embark on social and economic reforms that will restore normalcy and lead to prosperity for all.

I make this pledge to work honestly and compassionately to fulfill the promises given to the nation. I make this pledge at the sacred site of Dalada Maligawa, in front of the Maha Sangha, before the people of this country that I will serve the nation with dedication. I wish to state that we do not need a king, we want a real man.

As I promised on the day I took oaths as President, this will be my first and last term as President.

I will make every sacrifice to fulfill the aspirations of the people and the country. I urge all Sri Lankans to live peacefully without taking revenge from the opponents. The victory should be celebrated peacefully and in a calm manner. We have given strict instructions to the police and security forces to take steps to maintain peace. We must always display our humane nature, brotherhood and mutual respect as human beings. Setting the political differences apart, we must act as compassionate human beings. That is essential for the progress of mankind. We have often heard that the people’s silence is a main hurdle for progress.

My appeal to the good, kind and wise people of my country is, let us strive together to make our Motherland a nation second to none by working with dedication, harmony and cooperation.