Written by Staff Writer
18 Nov, 2019 | 8:42 pm
Colombo (News 1st): With the new president being sworn into office the official term of the 6th executive president of Sri Lanka came to an end. This is a look back at the political career of President Maithripala Sirisena.
President Maithripala Sirisena who was born a day after the Sri Lanka Freedom Party was officially formed, has an irreplaceable bond with the party. He was appointed to the position of Secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party Youth Organisation for the Polonnaruwa Electorate at the age of 17 in 1967 marking his debut in politics.
He entered parliament for the first time in 1989. In 1994 he was elected to parliament again, this time securing the highest number of votes in the Polonnaruwa District. He was then appointed as the Deputy Minister of Irrigation in the government formed by the People’s Alliance. In 2001, he was elevated to the position of General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party.
In 2004, he became the Leader of the House in Parliament and in 2005 he was appointed as the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Mahaweli Development and later in 2009 when the war was brought to an end he served as the Acting Defence Minister.
In 2008 Maithripala Sirisena was the target of a terror attack that failed. In 2010, he was made the Minister of Health and with a resounding victory on the 08th of January 2015, Maithripala Sirisena became the 06th Executive President of Sri Lanka.
On the 11th of January 2015 in Kandy President Sirisena said;
“As mentioned in the election manifesto we promise to give the judiciary, independent commissions, and state sector room to function freely. Our country does not need a king, we need a true human being.”
As he promised on that day he dedicated himself to pass the 19th amendment in parliament and also reduced his official tenure by 1 year. He took on the country’s drug menace head-on and did not falter in signing off on the death sentences of inmates on death row.
President Maithripala Sirisena appointed a presidential commission to inquire into the irregularities at SriLankan Airlines and Mihin Air. He also appointed a presidential commission to probe the corruption in his government including the Central Bank Bond Scam.
In a bid to spur development in the country he also expedited the construction of the final reservoir, the Moragahakanda reservoir of the Mahaweli Project and vested it with the public. He confidently faced the challenges that came his way which included the many criticisms levelled against him.
Maithripala Sirisena steps down from the office of president with hopes of continuing his political journey further. On behalf of the nation, we extend our gratitude to you President Maithripala Sirisena, for your service to our motherland.
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