President sees challenges for unity Government

Maithripala SirisenaPresident Maithripala Sirisena says the National unity Government will face several challenges ahead as it looks to rebuild the country.

Speaking at the 69th anniversary meeting of the United National Party (UNP) at the UNP headquarters in Sirikotha today, the President said that the new Government must not for one moment assume that the enemy is asleep.

He said that some elements operating from overseas are still keen on dividing the country while in Sri Lanka there are groups who backed the former regime who are now looking at reversing what the country has achieved in order to meet their own agenda.

The President however insisted that he is determined to uphold the trust the UNP and its supporters had placed on him by backing him at the January 8 Presidential election.

He also noted that the public have placed their trust on the National Government and if the Government fails to meet their expectations then the public will eventually reject them.

In his speech the President also recalled attempts that were made to prevent him from becoming the President in January.

The President noted his appreciation to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who as then opposition leader, took every effort to ensure his security and pushed him to contest as the common candidate after obtaining the support of his party.

He recalled that on January 5 he was expected to attend the final election rally in Maradana but his security officers refused to take him fearing for his life.

However Wickremesinghe had then arrived at his house and took him to Maradana in his own vehicle and ensured he was safe as he took part in the rally.

President Sirisena also insisted that he never had any secret talks with Wickremesinghe before nominations were accepted for the Presidential election and that they only met once the UNP agreed to back him as President. (Colombo Gazette)