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Sri Lanka’s patriotic need is to aim for financial probity, ending corruption: President

ECONOMYNEXT – The patriotic duty of Sri Lanka’s leaders, state officials and people have to aim for a high degree of financial rectitude and act to end corruption, President Maithripala Sirisena said speaking at the 70-the anniversary of gaining self-determination from the former British Empire.

"Patriotism has been defined in different ways at different times," President Sirisena said at the main Independence Day celebration in Colombo, in the presence of Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, son of Sri Lanka’s last Queen.

"But today it is my believe that financial probity and ending of corruption is the patriotic need of the hour."

"Politicians, state officers and all our people should dedicate themselves to ending corruption from our society."

Political analysts say corruption especially in public life rose after independence from British rule because independent institutions that kept corruption in check was broken by native rulers and a parliament elected through popular vote.

The institution of permanent secretaries which allowed the senior most public servant in the ministry to act correctly and equally by the people, was broken by the 1972 and 1978 constitutions, where the President instead of a public service commission appointed them.

The judiciary was systematically undermined.

A constitutional council was set up by President Maithripala Sirisena after he came to power, but still there is no tenure security for permanent secretaries.

Sri Lanka fought a 30 year civil war which ended in 2009, and there were also two uprisings by Marxist rebels during the last 70 years.

President Sirisena said Sri Lanka has to progress as a country where people of different faiths, who spoke different languages lived peacefully and together larning lessons from the past. (Colombo/Feb04/2018)

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