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President vows to fight corruption

President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday, vowed to battle corruption and said he was ready to give up his position if there was undue criticism of his actions against fraud and malpractice.

He also pledged to holding Local Council elections soon and said that the Sri Lanka Freedom Party led by him was also keen to have the vote at the earliest.

Addressing a public meeting at Nikaweratiya in the Kurunegala district, the President also underscored the need for unity within his coalition government.

He said the electorate voted for a change in the country’s political culture in January 2015 and that the government must deliver.

Addressing his critics, the president in an emotional address made it clear that he was prepared to put his job on the line in the interest of ensuring good governance and tackling corruption and fraud.

“If there are undue criticism and complaints against the decisions taken by me to stop corruption and fraud, I am ready to leave all positions and join the people to continue the struggle,” he said.

He said the voters rejected president Mahinda Rajapaksa at the January 2015 election due to corruption of the former regime and warned that the present government should not fall prey to the same mistakes.“As the government of SLFP did wrong things, the SLFP candidate (Mahinda Rajapaksa) lost in 2015. If the UNP is doing the same faults and mistakes being in the government, people will not approve that,” he said. “The people elected a new government, expecting a correct program which would change the corrupt system of governance.

 Everybody should be ready to start a correct journey to fulfil that expectation of the people.

“The politicians should love the country and the people, without acting according to their political powers and private agendas,” he said adding that he will always act with “patience and equanimity” because of his half a century in politics.

He focused on the 19th amendment to the constitution which was passed with the help of SLFP members of parliament at a time the UNP had a minority in the House and said it was a key piece of legislation towards ensuring good governance.

Drought Relief (SUB HEAD)

He said the country must also realise that the government was spending six billion rupees a month to provide relief to some 800,000 families affected by a severe drought in several parts of the country.

Deputy Minister Indika Bandaranayake presented a souvenir to the President, offering the tribute of Wayamba people to him.

Chief Minister of Wayamba Province, Dharmasiri Dassanayake, State Minister Dilan Perera, Deputy Minister Tharanath Basnayake, Wayamba Provincial Minister Lakshman Vendaruwa , member of Vayamba Provincial Council Nilantha Supun Rajapaksha, UNP Organizer of Nikaveratiya H. P. Thennakoon and Chairman of SLFP Youth Front Shantha Bandara and were among those present.

The President also vested with the students the newly built laboratory under ‘Langama Pasala – Hondama Pasala’ (the closest school is the best school) at Rajabima School in Nikaveratiya. He observed the students’ activities in the Mathematics Room of the school.

He also presented a gift to the student of a Ranaviru family Lasindu Gasheth who obtained highest marks in the scholarship exam. Principal of the school B. M. H. Dissanayake presented a souvenir to the President. After the function at the school, the President joined religious activities at the Budumuththava Rajamaha Viharaya in Nikaveratiya.

He looked into the well-being of the Chief Incumbent Shasthrapathi Ven. Dombagolle Dhammarama Thera.Vidyayathanadhipathi of Sri Palitha Pirivena in Samadarapitiya, Nikaveratiya, Anunayaka of Sri Lanka Ramagna Nikaya, Rajakiya Panditha Ven. Galapitiyagama Vimaladhamma Thero, Chief Incumbent of Sigiri Rajamaha Vihara in Raththallegama Ven. Thumbullegama Sri Sumananayaka Thero and Maha Sangha chanted pirith and blessed the President.

President Sirisena also laid the foundation stone for the four-storied building at Jayanthi Maha Vidyalaya, Nikaveratiya, built at a cost of 18 million rupees, under the ‘Langama Palasa – Hondama Pasala’ program.

He presented gifts to the students B.M.Thiyumi Thasanga and B. M. Amanda Basnayake who gained the highest marks of the school at last scholarship exam.