I am pleased that the Northern Provincial Council Elections took place in 2013, and for selecting the former Supreme Court Judge Honorable C. V. Wigneswaran as Chief Minister for Northern Province.
It was the first ever Northern Provincial Council elections took place after 1988.
Although the war is over the suffering is not, the people want justice and peace. The people have cast their votes for the Tamil National Alliance and it is theirs and governments responsibility to fulfill the needs of the people.
I hope the remaining Tamil IDPs in the Northern and Eastern part of the country will be resettled without further delay.
I would like to express my deep concern over the public demonstration which took place in Weliweriya, where they demanded providing clean drinking water to the public. My heart goes out to the families who lost their children and for the civilians who were injured during this protest. The authorities must ensure that such incident will not occur in the future and that people should able to live in peace. Everyone has to learn to respect their fundamental rights.
Corruption is one of the critical issues around the world, especially in under developed and developing countries. If people stop paying bribes the corruption could be eliminated. The laws related to corruption should be made strict and the punishment for corruption should be very severe. Those who are involved and found guilty of corruption should be punished by law.
The families of people who have disappeared need proper investigation into the disappearances by an appointed Special Commission. After full investigation proper answers should be provided to the victims families. The authorities should take decisive steps to prevent these disappearances from taking place on the island.
After thirty years of civil war which ended four years ago on the island, all Sri Lankans should try to rebuild a new nation to live in peace and harmony. People have lost their homes, loved ones and their dreams. To re-establish their livelihoods, we must commit ourselves sincerely to continuing rehabilitation, reconstruction and redevelopment of the affected people and affected areas. Although some of the displaced civilians have been resettled, we must continue to improve the quality of their lives.
Unfortunately some groups of people are trying to create religious tensions in the country. I would kindly like to remind you all that on the island we have groups with different languages, race, religions, customs and traditions. All Sri Lankans need to understand and learn to respect each other’s religions and each other’s customs and traditions. All the people of Sri Lanka should be able to live in a truly equal multicultural society.
The greatest heritage we inherited from our forefathers was harmony. Sri Lanka was a shining example and model of ethnic and religious harmony for the rest of the world. Unfortunately, Sri Lankans of our generation failed to maintain this precious gift from our ancestors. When ethnicity and religion was politicized by politicians in the north and the south, they started to fight each other. Unfortunately, some are still trying to disturb the hard earned peace. Every human being on the planet has the right to live in peace. This is the most basic human right.
It is my sincere wish that all Sri Lankans should come forward to build a harmonious Sri Lanka. Do not fear change. If you change your thoughts, you change your life. The fastest way to achieve peace is to change your thinking. Some may think peace is difficult. In order to achieve peace and unity in our country, we have to work together. Therefore I urge all Sri Lankans to come forward and join hands for the happiness of the whole country.
May I wish you all a Happy New Year!
May the blessings of Lord Sri Kailasanathar be upon you all!