The present good governance Government hopes to realise former President R. Premadasa’s hope to create a Sri Lanka with national unity and one identity, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday, at a ceremony to mark the 24th commemoration of the former President.
“President Premadasa emerged among the people and he dedicated his life towards serving the people. His unfortunate demise also occurred at a time during which he was with the people,” the Premier recalled at a ceremony held before the R. Premadasa statue in Hulftsdorf, Colombo.
“Just as it was the hope of President Premadasa, it remains our hope too, to create a Sri Lanka with national unity and one identity,” the Prime Minister said.
Former President Premadasa was assassinated by an LTTE suicide bomber during the May Day parade in 1993.
Referring to a speech made by the former president, Wickremesinghe said President Premadasa is famous for saying, “If someone named Premadasa can become the President, any person of Sri Lanka can become President.”
He noted that former President Premadasa always maintained that no Sri Lankan should be discriminated due to their ethnicity or other differences.
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said the international community has given Sri Lanka two years to deliver a national solution to the ethnic issue and boost the national reconciliation process in the country.
Premier Wickremesinghe said Parliament would establish reconciliation through the approval of a new Constitution. He said an interim report by the Constitutional Council was in the making regarding a national solution and discussions were underway with Chief Ministers pertaining to the devolution of power through the protection of unity. He added that discussions will be held with religious leaders and civil organisations to find common ground.
He said human rights, the election system and the freedom of religious practice had also been discussed at length.