President seeks international support to face challenges

speech-1President Maithripala Sirisena sought the support of the international community as Sri Lanka faces challenges while moving forward with the reconciliation process.

Speaking at the 71st session of the UN General Assembly, the President said that Sri Lanka has in recent months, taken many important steps for socio-economic transformation.

“Before I came to power, people in my country were living in fear and I ended that period and made the people free of fear, established rule of law and restored democratic rights. My intention is to make peole of Sri Lanka one of the happiest among the world communities by establishing a knowledge-based society. I am determined to alleviate poverty in my country. For that purpose I have declared 2017 as the Year of Alleviation of Poverty,” he said.

The President also said that in order to improve the living standards of its people, Sri Lanka has to provide better facilities for economic development.

“I have given the topmost priority to take my country forward by working in cooperation with the United Nations and its agencies and other institutions. We have to make necessary changes to achieve sustainable development. The priority areas of the government include establishment of a knowledge-based economy with new initiatives and creation of a green economy,” he said.

“As an Island-Nation, Sri Lanka wishes to make maximum utility of sea resources, fisheries and marine resources. All these require new technology and we seek the support of the international community for these purposes. Sri Lanka is a country with free education and free health services and the country has all the basic infrastructure requirements for speedy development.”

Sirisena said that his Government is totally committed to the reconciliation process to establish lasting peace and that would prevent occurance of another war in the country.

“Terrorism lasting three decades has ended and now we have undertaken the process of reconciliation among the different communities. We require the support of the international community to successfully face these challenges,” he said.

He also said that he is totally committed to eradicate drugs. “As the President of Brazil said this morning, illicit drugs have become the most serious challenge faced by our societies today. Unless we take early steps to stop the menace of drugs we will be faced with a catastrophe of unprecedented magnitude. The harm caused to the people, especially the young students by illicit drugs is very serious. We have to eradicate drugs and ensure that illicit drugs would not reach our countries.”

“We have taken effective steps to strengthen democracy, rule of law and good governance in our country. We want to create a better country for our people. To achieve these, I need the assistance of the international community.”

“Different countries have their own unique authentic thinking. We too have such authentic thinkings and visions. I want to create a country, in which our people can live as better humans and I need your support for this endeavour.”

The President also said that it is his desire to arm the new generation with knowledge and modern technology and he will do his duties and fulfill his responsibilities towards his people. (Colombo Gazette)