Former finance minister Ravi Karunanayake says the address to the nation delivered on 75th Independence Day by President Ranil Wickremesinghe is 100 per cent correct.
“I find it as an instance in which a head of state in recent history has fearlessly stated the unpleasant truth,” Karunanayake said on twitter.
“He has identified very well the society of hatred that has been created in the post-independence period by dividing the people for political gains. What we should do today is not point the finger at each other, but unify ourselves to take the country on a path that is 100 per cent correct,” the former minister also said.
What president said in his speech
The wound in Sri Lanka can get healed completely if all endure the suffering and pain for a short period of time, said president Wickremesinghe in an Independence Day address to the nation.
“The policy followed by the late Mr. D.S. Senanayake in securing the country’s freedom was to unite all Sri Lankans. He believed that everyone, be it Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim or Burgher, should forge ahead as Sri Lankans.
However, after independence we were divided in terms of race, religion and region. We were divided to a point of developing suspicion and animosity against each other.
Let's seek to heal this wound though it's difficult and painful. If we endure the suffering and pain for a short period of time, we can get the wound healed completely.
We have no way out of this crisis with short cuts as some political parties are pointing out. We have only one way to get rid of this situation, if we want to overcome this crisis and achieve real economic and social freedom. Remember, if we miss this path due to misplaced political agendas, we would neither have a future nor a country.
On several occasions, I pointed out the seriousness and danger of the looming economic crisis we are facing today. I have already said that the first six months of this year will be extremely difficult. We have to face this difficult situation in our stride, although unwillingly, for the sake of the country.
This is the "system change" that the youth of this country have been demanding for over a long period of time. My government therefore has embarked on a new path of reform to fulfil the needs of the youth.
We must all move forward as Sri Lankan nationals leaving aside all differences. Hence the basis and foundation for a strong new economy has already been formulated. We are successfully completing the difficult stage required to get support from the International Monetary Fund.
We expect to get their consent without delay. We cannot be satisfied just by strengthening the economy. The entire system needs to be changed.
All areas of this political system, the legislature, parliament, Executive, state machinery, etc. should be modified to suit the modern era. The nation and we should benefit from this change. More space should be created in the new system, for representation and opinions of young people and women in particular.
For this system modification, we are proposing a number of orders to the Parliament.
I know that many of the decisions I have been compelled to take since assuming the presidency have been unpopular. However, because of those decisions, today no citizen of this country will die of dehydration in oil queues. You won't starve without gas. Not curse without fertilizer. Therefore, regardless of the obstacles the anarchist political forces seek to create, I will continue this new reform program with the majority of people who love this country. We can become a developed country by 2048 if we work and move forward in a united and planned manner envisioning peace and reconciliation. There is the potential to become a developed country which is not begging from any other nation in the world. True freedom can be achieved and it is possible. It is our collective responsibility to build a new country in which our children can compete with the rest of the world.”
Endure suffering briefly to heal Sri Lanka’s wound - President