He said there is unnecessary concern in the country at present regarding the Presidential election and even though some people had made statements that there will be an early Presidential election, he is not ready in any way to hold a Presidential election before it is due.
President Sirisena also said that he alone could decide on holding such an election. If the SLPP and UNP overestimate their political power, that is a mistake and however high their expectations might be, no one could form a government without the support of the SLFP, President Sirisena said.
Political parties which emerge centring on individuals are temporary and the country needs political parties with clear vision. The SLFP which has a proper vision for the motherland is now moving forward successfully while strengthening its organisational structures, the President said.
According to the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, after the next Presidential election, the powers of the President will be limited and the key position of the government will be the post of Prime Minister. Therefore, those in politics should be discussing the selection of a Prime Minister for the country, and not be concerned about the next Presidential election, President Sirisena said.
“No matter what allegations are levelled against me by political opponents, I will continue to fulfill my duties toward the country, much more than anyone has done in the past,” President Sirisena said.He also said that he has created an environment where the common man could reach the highest level, while strengthening democracy and vesting the superior powers of the Executive Presidency in the Parliament, which no other leader in the world has done.
President Sirisena said that the true Bandaranaike policy and the policy of the SLFP is to always put the needs of the country first.Although the main allegation against the SLFP is that it is joined with the UNP, it did so to fulfill some tasks which could not be fulfilled by the previous government and today, the government was able to win the support of the international community whose cooperation is now being used for the benefit of the country, he said.
Expressing his views regarding the development activities of the Ratnapura district, the President said that he will instruct the relevant authorities and the police to allow the people to engage in gem mining using kooda (cane baskets) in rivers and canals in the area, from this week.The President, felicitating 10 senior SLFP members of the Ratnapura district, presented awards to them for their long contribution to the development of the SLFP.
Ministers Nimal Siripala de Silva and Vijith Vijayamuni Zoysa, State Minister Weerakumara Dissanayake, Deputy Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna, Nivitigala SLFP organiser Miyuru Bhashitha Liyanage, Jagath Pushpakumara, and Athula Kumara Rahubadda and other SLFP activists participated in the event.