Policy Statement made by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the inauguration of the first session of the ninth Parliament

Policy Statement at the opening session of the 9th Parliament

  • Public trust on the Government will not be breached
  • 19thAmendment to be abolished
  • New Constitution giving priority to “One Country – One Law”
  • Waste and corruption at ministries and pubic institutes will be eradicated
  • People’s representatives must go to the public

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa emphasized that he will take the country towards prosperity while safeguarding the people and protecting the sovereignty of the country without succumbing to any force.

People gave a resounding victory to the Government at the recently concluded General Election. The Government aspires to serve the public while ensuring the public trust said the President adding that the trust people placed on him and the Government will not be violated at any cost.

President Rajapaksa made these remarks at the inauguration of the First Session of the 9th Parliament today (20).

The opening ceremony was conducted in a simple manner without any pomp or pageant.

Upon his arrival President was welcomed by the newly appointed Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardene and the Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Dissanayake amidst chanting of Jaya Mangala Gatha by school students.

The period between the Presidential Election and the Parliamentary Election has been very challenging for us, the President said. What we inherited was an economy that had collapsed and we had to face the COVID-19 pandemic that disabled the entire world during that period. At a time when even the most powerful countries in the world were left helpless in the wake of COVID – 19 catastrophe, we were able to successfully face the challenge. Even foreign nations praised our efforts to prevent the spreading of the pandemic, he said.

“The historic mandate received at the election has proven that people are impressed with the way we have governed the country during the past 9 months despite various obstacles,” President added.

Full text of the Inaugural Address of the 9th Parliament, August 20, 2020

Honourable Speaker,

Honourable Prime Minister,

Honourable Leader of the Opposition,

Honourable Ministers, State Ministers,

Honourable Members of Parliament,

At the outset I would like to congratulate newly appointed Speaker Hon. Mahinda Yapa Abeywardene. I also extend my congratulations to Deputy Speaker Hon. Ranjith Siyambalapitiya and Deputy Chairman of Committees Hon. Angajan Ramanathan as the as well as all the elected Members of Parliament.

The election held on August 5th marked a turning point in the history of Parliamentary Elections in Sri Lanka. We asked the people to give us a 2/3rd majority to form a stable government.

First of all, I would like to thank and extend my gratitude to all the patriotic Sri Lankans for giving Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna and its allied parties a historic and resounding 2/3rd majority for the first time in the history in an election held under the Proportional Representation System.

Universal suffrage is a democratic right that we must all respect and uphold. Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all Sri Lankan voters who exercised their voting right in this election.

During the Presidential Election held last November, over 6.9 million people gave me a decisive mandate, placing a very high confidence in me. So far through my actions, I have proved that I will uphold the promise that I will not violate the trust they placed on me.

The period between the Presidential Election and the Parliamentary Election has been very challenging for us. What we inherited was an economy that had collapsed. Since we did not have a majority in Parliament we were compelled to function with a minority government. In addition, we had to face the COVID-19 pandemic that disabled the entire world during that period. At a time when even the most powerful countries in the world were left helpless in the wake of COVID – 19 catastrophe, we were able to successfully face the challenge. Even foreign nations praised our efforts to prevent the spreading of the pandemic.

The historic mandate received by Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna has proven that people are impressed with the way we have governed the country during the past 9 months despite various obstacles.

People appreciate the change taking place in the political culture of this country.

As representatives of the people, we always respect the aspirations of the majority. It is only then that the sovereignty of the people can be safeguarded.

In accordance with the supreme Constitution of our country, I have pledged to protect the unitary status of the country and to protect and nurture the Buddha Sasana during my tenure. Accordingly, I have set up an advisory council comprising leading Buddhist monks to seek advice on governance.  I have also established a Presidential Task Force to protect places of archeological importance and to preserve our Buddhist heritage.

While ensuring priority for Buddhism, it is now clear to the people that freedom of any citizen to practice the religion of his or her choice is better secured.

The Government has paid special attention to the protection of national heritage, culture and our identity as well as the protection and promotion of performing arts and folk arts.

When we took over the government, the confidence of the people in the security of the country had been severely dented due to the Easter Sunday attacks that occurred in 2019. Establishing firmly that the prime policy of our Government is national security, we have restructured the security apparatus and intelligence services, eliminating the fears of the people thereby restoring the security of the country. We have re-created an environment where any citizen can live freely without any fear for the safety of themselves and their families.

Read more: Full text of the Inaugural Address of the 9th Parliament, August 20, 2020