COLOMBO – President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, in a special address to the nation making the first anniversary of his presidency, on Wednesday (18), took a dig at the opposition politicians saying, “My success or failure is best measured by public opinion, not organized propaganda spread on social media by political opponents”
Claiming he does not want to please anyone just for the purpose of securing votes, he reiterated his determination to build a prosperous nation, vowing that he will not hesitate to take whatever action that is necessary, according to his conscience, to achieve the target.
In a nearly 30-minute address carried by all channels, he said he does not consider the position of president as a privilege but a responsibility, and claimed he worked to eliminate unnecessary expenses, waste, and empty rhetoric.
President Rajapaksa claimed his government had curtailed the opportunity for any form of extremism to raise its head again in Sri Lanka, noting that measures had been put in place to ensure there was no room for the underworld and drug networks to carry out their operations within prisons.
He also said the era of betraying war veterans, selling national resources, readily accepting any deal over short-term gains, or allowing foreign forces to intervene in the internal affairs of the nation had ended, and proclaimed Sri Lanka was ready to hold friendly relations with all nations.
Alluding to US-China relations and US State Secretary Mike Pompeo’s recent visit, he said Sri Lanka had once again shown its stance as a proud sovereign nation that is neutral and is not a party to conflicts between powerful nations. .
He also assured his government will face the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic that is affecting the country, in the same way it faced the first wave. “We were very successful with the first wave and we have the experience that we have gained,” he said.
Promising to bring new Constitution which will suit the country he said the time has come for all to join with team spirit and fulfil their responsibilities in a disciplined manner to build a prosperous nation.
“I love my country. I am proud of my country. I have a vision for my country. This is the Motherland of all of us. Hence, the time has come for all of us to join hands as productive citizens with the team spirit and fulfilling responsibilities in a disciplined manner in building the prosperous nation we promised to our people.”
English Translation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s address to the nation