ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s newly-elected president Gotabaya Rajapaksa Monday said he would rebuild government administration giving priority to professionalism and efficiency.
His government would also give priority to strengthening national security while maintaining friendly relations with all nations and not get caught in international power struggles, Rajapaksa said.
“The government should always set an example to society,” he said in an address to the nation televised live soon after he was sworn in following Saturday’s presidential poll which he won with a decisive majority.
“Professionalism and efficiency should be the cornerstone of government administration,” Rajapaksa said.
“Meritocracy and technocracy should be promoted at all times. Corruption will never be tolerated under my administration.”
He said he would rebuild the state administration free of bribery and corruption and respect the rule of law.
Rajapaksa said his government hopes to be friendly with all countries and not get caught in power struggles.
“We want to remain neutral in our foreign relations and stay out of any conflicts among world powers.”
Rajapasksa, who as Defene Secretary directed a successful war against Tamil Tiger separatists took oaths by Ruwanweli Seya, a Buddhist Dagoba, in Anuradhapura, an ancient capital where King Dugugamunu ruled.
Dutugamunu defeated Elara, a Chola ruler.
Rajapaksa said he was happy to take oaths in front of a statue of King Dutugamunu.
He scored large majorities in the Sinhala South of the country, while the mainly Tamil and Muslim areas voted for his defeated rival Sajith Premadasa.
“The main feature of my victory is that I won with Sinhala majority. I knew I could win with a Sinhala majority,” he said.
“I asked Tamil and Muslims to join me. The support was not as high as I expected. But I call on them to support my government whether they voted for me or not.?
He said he was from a Buddhist family and studied at a leading Buddhist school in Colombo. With his Buddhist background he had learned values such as discipline.
“In my time i will protect and nurture the Buddhist religion,” Rajapaksa said.
“In will protect the Sinhala heritage of thousands of years. I will give state protection for our values, ape kama and sirith virith (practices)” (Colombo/Nov18/2019)