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Monday, January 19, 2015

Speech by President Maithripala Sirisena at the appointment of new Secretaries to Ministries at the Presidential Secretariat

 

First, I wish all of you be blessed with strength, courage and good luck to fulfill your duties in a perfectly satisfactory manner.

We, as a new Government, have given this responsibility keeping utmost faith in all of you. In the Presidential Election held on January 8 people brought us power, trusting our election manifesto and your main obligation should be to work to turn these pledges of election manifesto into reality.

We strongly believe that all of you will work hard in consistent with Government’s policy decisions and handle practical issues and planning, with determination and patience.

Public service of this country was a catastrophe for the Secretaries to Ministries, especially in the previous months. The wisdom, excellence and reputation of public service as well as the responsibilities of good governance applicable to the duties of Ministry secretaries were destroyed during that period.

Certain Ministry secretaries clearly worked, gave their guidance aiming at the victory of a particular candidate and indulged in political campaign, gave orders or influenced others. Perhaps all these occurred with or without their consent. Nevertheless all these circumstances led to tarnish the image of the public service.

All of you know better than me, how State-owned assets, public assets were used in support of a one political party, one particular candidate. Because of that, in our election manifesto, we have said that we will build a new country with good governance. I think you’ll know better than me what is defined scope for good governance. All of you have a major responsibility and obligation when implementing good governance without limiting it to a mere word.

Transparency is an important issue for all our activities. I think all of you know undoubtedly that you have a major responsibility to eradicate bribery, corruption, waste and irregularities completely. Good governance on the other hand, requires good public relations.

According to our experience, we can’t make every person happy in the process to fulfill the needs of the public. But we should be aware of our responsibility to execute our duties truly to win the hearts of the people.

The people, with dissatisfaction complain that they have to come to government offices more than ten times to get their work done. So, it is the responsibility of the Ministry’s Secretary to handle the issues speedily and win administration of the public. The Secreatries should ensure proper management of the Ministry so that there would not be complaints against bad public relations.

Therefore, we will discuss with the Prime Minister and Ministers about the way to build up public relations at government institutions to serve the people properly and effectively and avoid unreasonable delays. You are the people who take the main responsibility of this task.

On the other hand, we should make immediately stop unnecessary and wasteful expenditure at government institutions, ministries, departments and corporations. Most of this expenditure has been made for advertisements of those institutions. I will not allow filling the newspapers with advertisements of government institutions. That space in papers should be given to discuss on the issues of the people.

Government media has a responsibility to raise the problems faced by the people of this country. They shouldn’t give publicity to government politicians.

You know the responsibility of Provincial Councils and line ministries. You have to be responsible to 13th amendment to the constitution as well. You should be friendly and cooperative while dealing with the Provincial Councils. Provincial Councils of nine provinces are in operation today. Today, it is necessary to work as a one country and while delivering the benefits of development it has to be done to all nine provinces in equal measures. To minimize problems all offices must understand the responsibilities of Provincial Councils.

Several presidential advisors are present here today, each presidential advisor had been given different subjects and responsibilities. Therefore, I will look at each institution separately. If you experience any difficulty in meeting with me due to my busy schedule speak to one of my advisors and get their assistance to solve your problems.

While fulfilling the responsibility given by the people to us, it is the duty of all of us to raise our motherland to a position of greatness in the world by using knowledge, understanding, wisdom and experience. I will take further necessary steps and decisions regarding this with in consultation with the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as well as Ministers. I strongly believe all of you will fulfill the obligations and responsibilities with dedication. Once again, I wish all Ministry secretaries sworn in today.

Thank you.



 

 

 
 
   
   
     
   
   

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Last modified: January 30, 2015.

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