President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Saturday stated that his objective is to form an all-party Government by bringing together all political parties and to commence a new journey in order to overcome the social, economic and political challenges facing the country.
This he said after paying homage to the Maha Sangha including Ven. Thibbatuwawe Sri Sumangala Mahanayaka Thero of Malwathu Chapter.
During these meetings, the President stated that he eagerly expects the advice and guidance of the Maha Sangha for the initiatives taken by the Government to build the country.
Later he called on the Mahanayaka Thero of Asgiri Chapters, and Anunayake Theros of Malwathu and Asgiri chapters and the senior monks of the Karaka Sabha of Malwathu and Asgiriya and obtained their blessings.
The Anunayake theros and the senior monks of the Karaka Sabha, led by Ven. Thibbatuwawe Sri Sumangala Mahanayaka Thero, gathered at the Malwathu Maha Viharaya Uposathagaraya offered their blessings to the President by performing religious rites.
Later, President Ranil Wickremesinghe, visited the Asgiri Maha Viharaya and there the Anunayake theros and the senior monks of the Karaka Sabha, including the Asgiriya Chapter Mahanayake Ven. Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Thero offered their blessings to the President amid chanting of ‘Seth Pirith’.
During the special ceremony organised at the Malwathu Maha Viharaya Uposathagaraya, Rajakiyapanditha Ven. Mahawela Ratanapala Thero, delivering a brief sermon, said that President Ranil Wickremesinghe has the strength to revive the economy and lead the country towards prosperity.
The Nayaka Thero further said that the Maha Sangha believes that the President, as a matured and skilled politician who has achieved national and international fame, has the potential to promptly solve the day-to-day difficulties faced by the people and to bring the necessary social, economic and political changes to the country.
President Ranil Wickremesinghe, speaking further at the ceremony held at the Malwathu Maha Viharaiya Uposathagarya, said: “After assuming the office of President, there were two duties that I had to perform according to the tradition. Make a statement to the Parliament. Before that, as a tradition, starting from the Malwathu-Asgiri Maha Viharas, visiting the Maha Nayaka Theros in other temples and receiving blessings.
“I am especially thankful for the blessings and strength received from you. During this time, the support of the Maha Nayake Theros gave me the strength to fulfil my respective duties.
“I first assumed the duties as the Prime Minister because the country and the country’s economy were on the brink of destruction. As a country, at present we are in a very difficult situation. This year, the country’s economy will decline further.
“With the support of international organisations, I am working to re-stabilise this economy and build the economy in such a way that the country can be developed by 2023 and 2024. It is a difficult task. But if you don’t do it now, it will be more difficult. We should think about whether we should try to cure the patient by giving medicine or let the patient die without giving medicine.
“Today, along with these problems presented demands for a number of reforms in the constitution. Politicians should accept it. Various forces came through those reforms. Good, strong, virtuous forces. As well, forces that can destroy a country. After all that, I have assumed the Presidency.
“As Maha Nayake Theros stated, we are in a very difficult place. There are economic issues. There are political issues. I read the series of instructions sent by Maha Nayake Theros. There are a number of righteous points. As the President, I wish to start a new journey. I would like to get all the parties together and go on that journey as well as to form an all-party Government. There are two ways to do it.
“The first one is that we should reinstate the 19th Amendment. It should be revised according to everyone’s desires. From there we can take the national Government forward. Secondly, the Oversight Committee of the Parliament can be appointed and given the opportunity to participate from there. Accordingly, the National Assembly concept policy proposed by the Sri Lanka Freedom Party has been acknowledged.
“At the same time, how do scholars organise this, get those ideas about reforms, and all that is done. These are important things for us. Therefore, I informed all the party leaders that if there is no all-party Government, all the parties should come together and make the Parliament a Government.
“I will act according to your advice and adhere to the policies, and I hope that the assistance of the Maha Nayake Theros and the people will be received in this regard.
“This is the last time we all need to face these problems together. At least a common minimum program should be established. Doing that work is our primary task. While doing those tasks, we should not forget the task of protecting our Buddhism. If we follow the advice given by the Licchavi Kings today, we can make this country a developed country. Our future depends on that. I particularly express my gratitude for the Maha Sangha.”
A group of people including the United National Party Deputy Leader, Senior Advisor to the President Ruwan Wijewardene attended these events.