Aug 04, Colombo: Sri Lanka's parliament today felicitated Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe for his continuous service as a Member of Parliament in the House for 40 years.
When the parliament convened today under the chairmanship of Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, a special Vote of Felicitation for the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was taken up before the normal sittings and completed to appreciate the Premier's uninterrupted service as a parliamentarian.
Speaking at the occasion Prime Minister said that he can be considered as a dedicated, determined and honest politician dispatching his duties under strict disciplinary conditions. He said during the past 40 years he has gathered a host of experience and throughout his career having no jealousies, and bearing victory and defeat in the same manner are his qualities.
The Premier said the experience he gathered, under the leadership of late Presidents J.R. Jayawardhana and R. Premadasa can be especially mentioned.
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe gave thanks to all the parties, Ministers, Members of Parliament, organizers and officers who came to the Parliament to watch the debate that took place today, to celebrate his 40 years in Parliament.
He apologized to those who had to turn back because they couldn't enter the parliament premises due to the large crowd that had gathered.
"For my 40 years in Parliament, since 1977 till today, everyone who voted for UNP, who gave blessings, were the people. Also I give my heartfelt thanks to all the members of the party and opposition who attended the debate today," the Premier said.
Before the commencement of the discussion special Bodi Pooja organized by the Speaker was conducted to invoke blessings over the Premier at the Bodi Tree in parliamentary premises.
Moving the proposal for discussion Leader of the House Minister Lakshman Kiriella said that the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is a leader who strongly believes the values of democracy. "The special significance of his political career is determination and being patience in facing political challenges. The Prime Minister has contributed immensely to the nation and the country, while holding the responsibilities of premiership and many number of portfolios during his parliamentary career," he said. Minister Kiriella further said, the Prime Minister has gained a special position and recognition among leading politicians in the South Asian region.
Leader of the Opposition R. Sampanthan seconded the felicitation proposal and said the Prime Minster is one of the greatest politicians in the country.
Prime Minster Wickremesinghe dedicated himself with a strong commitment in resolving the national issues, the Opposition Leader said. During the 40 years of service, the Premier had contributed a yeoman service to the country and to the parliament and has won both local and international accolades and a recognition during his service to the country, Mr. Sampanthan said.
Joining the discussion, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, said the special significance of the Prime minister is that he is strong enough to bear up any type of criticism levelled against him in public and even in parliament.
"Prime Minister Wickremesinghe is an exemplary figure to the young politicians," Minister de Silva said. He noted that the Premier excelled in the spheres of defense international relations and foreign affairs, financial and economics as well as international policy. Prime Minster possess a special ability in resolving the problems of the country, Mr. Silva said adding that the PM provided a valuable service in regaining the GSP Plus facility back to the country.
Joining the discussion Leader of Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) Minister Rauf Hakeem said the Premier possesses all the necessary qualities to act as a mature, intelligent politician. "Prime Minister Wickremesinghe is the most intelligent political leader in the country," Minister Hakeem said adding that the Premier is a rare figure in country's politics. When taking decisions, the premier is extremely brave, said minister Hakeem.
Several Ministers including Gayantha Karunathilaka, Rishad Bathiudeen, Mano Ganesan, and Palani Digambaram also spoke during the felicitation.