Sri Lankan President says corruption is the main obstacle for nation’s progress towards prosperity

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena says the fight against corruption is the self-defense of the nation and it is an imperative need of the era.

He said that corruption has become one of the main impediments to the progress towards prosperity, which is the aspiration of all citizens.

Addressing the nation on the occasion of the 70th independence anniversary celebrations at the Galle Face in Colombo on Sunday, the President said that a broad national movement against corruption is essential for the self-defense of the march towards progress of the country.

The President said bribery, corruption, frauds and malpractices is the most adverse impact on economic independence of the country, and hence all the politicians should fulfill their duties in an exemplary manner.

Stating the importance of identifying development priorities, the President pointed out that there were adverse repercussions due to implementation of personal agendas in development strategies.

Emphasizing the need for financial discipline, President Sirisena said politicians as well as public servants including every head of departments fulfilling the responsibilities towards the people must act with utmost fiscal discipline.

“There is a requirement of a national movement against corruption in order to establish a clean political culture and such a collective movement must be mobilized with the participation of the intellectual community of the country,” he said.

He said that the experiences gained during the past 70 years must be used to face the future challenges.

The President noted that one of the main challenges is poverty and every government implemented different programs to free the people from poverty making some positive contributions. However more efficient and enlightened program to free the people from the shackles of poverty is needed, the President said.

“With those experiences, we have launched programs to achieve that end and there is a need to make them more intelligent and efficient and I am sure with such measures we can win this challenge,” he said.

Pointing out that development carried out in the past few decades ignoring national development priorities, merely to suit political or personal agendas, have resulted in adverse outcomes for the national economy, the President said national priorities for national development must be identified.

“It is necessary to identify economic priorities in the development process and to take actions according to those priorities by the political leadership, public servant, public administration and management and the financial management,” President Sirisena said.

As the nation’s future depends on the educated, intelligent, smart people, the President emphasized that efficiency in educational reforms as well as proper educational policies and plans suitable to the modern era are needed and reforms must be enacted and implemented with dedication.

He noted that to increase the efficiency in the public service, it’s essential to reform the archaic monetary and administration regulations. “They are a barrier to our future development plans. We must reform them soon to achieve efficiency in development and create a disciplined government service. ”

The President paid his tribute to the members of security forces who made immense sacrifices to defeat the LTTE terrorism. “…on this occasion we must not forget the fact that when the LTTE terrorists attempted to challenge the territorial integrity of our country, it was our Army, Navy, Air Force, Police and Civil Security Force who came forward,” he reminded.

President Sirisena pointed out the need for communal harmony among the Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim, Burgher communities to build the nation. Pointing out the right of the people to live as equal citizens, he said fullest commitment and support of every section was essential to achieve true reconciliation.

“We must rid ourselves of laziness, lethargy or sluggishness and works towards the progress of the economy and the enlightened governance with efficiency, courage, fearlessness and a fighting quality,” he stressed.

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