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Sri Lanka President plans to eliminate corruption, poverty in third term

EconomyNext – Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa who is seeking re-election says the elimination of corruption and poverty will be a key part of his vision in a third term, after bringing stability to the country by eliminating corruption.

"My future vision for Sri Lanka includes elimination of poverty along with any corruption that would hinder the progress of the nation," Rajapaksa told a forum in Colombo, where businessmen and professional gathered at three hotels where his speech was relayed live.

"We will not only continue with the major development programs we have initiated, but accelerate those initiatives to produce results.

"My dear friends, achieving results is good governance. Not achieving results is corruption."

President Rajapaksa who changed the constitution to lift term limits and seek a third term said eliminating terrorism was his task in the first term which was followed by building infrastructure.

He said his first term which began in 2009 was focused on defeating the Tamil Tigers. After the ending the war infrastructure was rebuilt.

"My vision and action in the second term has been to restore economic stability, ensure a major growth of the economy, expand investment opportunities and thereby ensure social growth throughout the country," he said.

"A major aspect of this is the Long-term Infrastructure Development that you see in all parts of the country, embracing the entire nation, from East to West, North to South and in the Centre.

"This covers both urban and rural sectors, and seeks the transformation of the country, into a place of pride in modern times.

"You fully benefit today from what can only be described as a revolutionary change in our transport network of roads, highways and expressways."

The Rajapaksa administration has come under fire from critics for undermining the judiciary, rule of law and corruption and nepotism.

His main challenger, former health minister Maithripala Sirisena has pledged to end the Presidential system and re-establish rule of law with an independent judiciary and public service.