Published on: June 4, 2024

While other leaders were preoccupied with their own interests, I stepped up in a humble manner and assumed responsibility for the government

  • The country’s economic recovery was achieved by prioritizing ability and confidence over political considerations- President
  • The President takes to the air to assess the flood and disaster situation in several areas.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe remarked that while other leaders were preoccupied with their own interests, he took charge and led the government with determination. He emphasized that the country’s economic progress over the past two years was achieved by prioritizing ability and confidence over political considerations.

The President emphasized that it is everyone’s responsibility to set aside politics and support the program aimed at building the country’s economy.

President Wickremesinghe made these remarks while attending a public meeting at the residence of Finance Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya in Ruwanwella this afternoon (04).

Recalling that the economic collapse also led to a political collapse, President Ranil Wickremesinghe noted that a non-political government was formed for the first time in the country.

He stated that while people can now meet their daily needs, the country is still not free from the economic crisis. Therefore, he emphasized the need for everyone to unite in building the country, setting politics aside.

The President attended several meetings during his field visit where a large number of local residents were also in attendance.

A large crowd gathered on both sides of the road where President Ranil Wickremesinghe was expected to pass after attending the public meeting. The President engaged in friendly conversation with the people.

Additionally, President Wickremesinghe visited Meedeniya Walawwa, the ancestral home of his family in Ruwanwella, and spent some time there.

While returning to Colombo by air, the President monitored the flood and disaster situation in Kaduwela, Ruwanwella, Ingiriya, Bulathsinhala, Baduraliya, Neluwa, Agalawatta, Matugama and Bandaragama.

Addressing a public meeting, President Ranil Wickremesinghe stated,

“Today, some people are questioning how the government can provide so many relief measures for the public. Everyone is asking how programs such as ‘Urumaya’, ‘Aswesuma’ and free rice distribution can be implemented by a government that has been declared bankrupt, especially since these were not implemented when the economy was in better shape.

Additionally, we arranged to increase the salaries of government employees by Rs. 10,000, marking the second such hike since 2015. This is only the second time in the country’s history that such a salary increase has been implemented for government employees.

Therefore, many are wondering how the government will provide these relief measures to the public.

We assumed leadership of a nation facing significant challenges. When other leaders put on their running shoes, we wore slippers and took responsibility for the government, adhering to sound policies. Our efforts earned the trust of the International Monetary Fund and the global community.

In the span of two years, we made a series of tough economic decisions. Increasing taxes was a particularly tough measure, but we were confident that this strategy would facilitate economic recovery.

For the first time since then, Sri Lanka had a government free of political divisions. Every party was represented, with distinctions based solely on ability and belief. In this democratic system, it is unprecedented for a president to emerge from a party with only one seat. I sought support from all parties for the recovery program, although some chose not to support us.

Despite this, I moved forward with a unified effort. For the first time, a non-political Cabinet was formed, dedicated to rebuilding the country’s economy without party differences.

We are at a critical juncture where unity is essential, transcending narrow concepts. While we have made progress in securing fuel, fertilizer and achieving a good harvest, we have not yet fully emerged from the economic crisis. There is potential for us to overcome bankruptcy by the end of this year, but that alone is insufficient. An economic transformation is imperative, and we have made agreements with the International Monetary Fund to align with our economic goals.

To advance the country’s economy, we must adhere to a strategic plan. This requires setting politics aside and focusing on national development. Just as England united during the Second World War, we must face this challenge together. By separating politics from our efforts, we can work collectively for the betterment of our nation. The country cannot progress through out-dated political practices; we must build a future for our youth. We invite everyone to join us in building the country without political divisions.


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