(Full text of the Inaugural Address of the 9th Parliament, August 20, 2020 by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa)
Honourable Prime Minister,
Honourable Leader of the Opposition,
Honourable Ministers, State Ministers,
Honourable Members of Parliament,
At the outset I would like to congratulate newly appointed Speaker Hon. Mahinda Yapa Abeywardene. I also extend my congratulations to Deputy Speaker Hon. Ranjith Siyambalapitiya and Deputy Chairman of Committees Hon. Angajan Ramanathan as the as well as all the elected Members of Parliament.
The election held on August 5th marked a turning point in the history of Parliamentary Elections in Sri Lanka. We asked the people to give us a 2/3rd majority to form a stable government.
First of all, I would like to thank and extend my gratitude to all the patriotic Sri Lankans for giving Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna and its allied parties a historic and resounding 2/3rd majority for the first time in the history in an election held under the Proportional Representation System.
Universal suffrage is a democratic right that we must all respect and uphold. Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all Sri Lankan voters who exercised their voting right in this election.
During the Presidential Election held last November, over 6.9 million people gave me a decisive mandate, placing a very high confidence in me. So far through my actions, I have proved that I will uphold the promise that I will not violate the trust they placed on me.
The period between the Presidential Election and the Parliamentary Election has been very challenging for us. What we inherited was an economy that had collapsed. Since we did not have a majority in Parliament we were compelled to function with a minority government. In addition, we had to face the COVID-19 pandemic that disabled the entire world during that period. At a time when even the most powerful countries in the world were left helpless in the wake of COVID – 19 catastrophe, we were able to successfully face the challenge. Even foreign nations praised our efforts to prevent the spreading of the pandemic.
The historic mandate received by Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna has proven that people are impressed with the way we have governed the country during the past 9 months despite various obstacles.
People appreciate the change taking place in the political culture of this country.
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