So said President Maithripala Sirisena addressing those present immediately after the swearing-in of the Cabinet Ministers, State Ministers and Deputy Ministers at the Presidential Secretariat this evening ( 12).
He said that as politicians the Ministers should seek to win the hearts and minds of the people, through exemplary political behaviour. In recent times people had begun to look at politicians with contempt due to their character and activities. It must be realized that one could be a properly appreciated politician only through one’s own behaviour.
He emphasized that irrespective of the status of a minister, the Prime Minister and he would take the strictest action against such persons with regard to any corruption, fraud, malpractice.
President Sirisena said that as Buddhists one must always be ready to renounce whatever high positions one holds. As I was ready to sacrifice my positions as the Minister of Health and the General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, the people had elevated him to a higher position, of greater service and responsibility.
He added that one must always have in mind the ability to give up office and position. Power could be sustained and strengthened only if one has the mental capability to give up power. Hence, if any minister is not satisfied with the portfolio or office they have been entrusted with, they should understand the value the ability to give up position.
Expressing concern over certain acts of violence that had taken place recently, he warned that irrespective of party affiliation or position held, the persons involved with such violence, both before and after the election, would be definitely brought to justice.
The President said this appointment of ministers was for a temporary period, for implementing the 100 day programme in the policy of the Government. After dissolution of Parliament in April, a new Parliament, and subsequently a new Board of Ministers, will be appointed.