Uphold great principles of democracy – Opposition Leader

Sajith Premadasa

Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa on behalf of the Samagi Janabalawegaya, congratulated Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abaywardena on his unanimous election as the Speaker of the House yesterday.

“Having done your educational activities at Thelijjawela Central, Rahula College and the University of Colombo, you have contributed tremendously to the political activities of our country and your political contribution is well recognised. Throughout your political career you have acted with dignity, integrity and honour and we salute you. You have been a true patriot, you are not a pseudo nationalist, and neither are you a modern day racist. So, we on this side of the political isle are extremely honoured to have you as our Speaker,” noted Premadasa.

Drawing parallel to a quote from British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli who said, “I have climbed to the top of the greasy pole”, when he became the Prime Minister, Premadasa said Speaker Abeywardena had reached the climax of his political career by his appointment as the Speaker.

“Democratically elected parliament is the epitome of a functioning democracy. It is incumbent upon all of us to protect and promote a vibrant and sound democracy. As the custodian of this august assembly, you are ethically and morally obliged to uphold the great principles of democracy and the legitimacy of this institution. It is incumbent upon you to be inequitable, impartial, unbiased and non-prejudicial. We fervently believe that you will be meticulous, methodical and proficient in conducting yourself. Just and fair, this is indispensable for a flourishing democracy. It is incumbent upon you to nourish and nurture these main ingredients of democracy. This institution represents the will of the people, the voice of the voiceless and you as the guardian angel of Parliament, we believe that you will ensure that the people’s sovereignty will be protected and enhanced,” he added.

Premadasa concluded by urging the newly elected Speaker to abide by the great principles proclaimed by the former President of the United States Abraham Lincoln, to act with malice towards none, with charity towards all and firmness in the right.

(Source: Daily News – By Sandasen Marasinghe and Camelia Nathaniel)