President Maithripala Sirisena said the fight against corruption is the self defence 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 today, the President said that a broad national movement against corruption is essential for the self defence of the march towards progress of the country.
He said that bribery, corruption, fraud and malpractices are having the most adverse impact on the economic independence of the country and so 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 the 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 also said that the experiences gained during the past 70 years must be used to face the future challenges.
“One of the main challenges is poverty and every government implemented different programmes to free the people from poverty and they have made positive contributions. With those experiences, we have launched programmes 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,” the President said.
The President also paid tribute to the members of security forces who made immense sacrifices to defeat the LTTE.
“When the LTTE terrorists attempted to break our country, our Army, Navy, Air Force, Police and Civil Defence Services made sacrifices, their lives and limbs and being handicapped, even denying their children and families a proper family life, suffering many such painful experiences on behalf of the future of the nation, freedom of the nation and unity and the territorial integrity,” he said.
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, the President said the fullest commitment and support of every section was essential to achieve true reconciliation.