|Independence Day message of Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama|
|Sunday, 03 February 2008 00:00|
As we celebrate the 60th anniversary of Sri Lanka's independence, it is important to reflect on our achievements over the last six decades and charter our course for the future. Sri Lanka has remained a free, sovereign and independent country and has a long history of democratic tradition. Democratic institutions have been inbuilt into our political system to protect and preserve democracy. This has led to Sri Lanka becoming the vibrant democracy it is today. The rule of law prevalent in Sri Lanka, within the framework of the Constitution guarantees the protection of the fundamental rights of our citizens. A multi party political system, a strong and independent judiciary, and a free press are all hallmarks of Sri Lanka's abiding commitment to the rule of law and democracy.
The mature political climate that prevails in Sri Lanka has advanced to the extent where bi partisan and consensual political pursuits have become possible as seen with the recent wider engagement of all political parties in addressing national issues. This is a particularly heartening development for Sri Lanka at this crucial time. We look forward to maintaining and nurturing our multi-cultural, multi - ethnic and multi- religious social fabric which has given definition to the Sri Lankan identity. The harmonious and peaceful co-existence among the different communities that inhabit the country is of great importance for our development. Empowering our people, the economic advancement of society and of individuals, and the maximum utilisation of resources for the delivery of sustainable economic development will be consistent goals for Sri Lanka. It is time therefore, that we resolve to achieve these objectives by putting the "country first" against all distractions and differences. The time we were dictated to by terrorists should cease and the will of the people should prevail. All parts of Sri Lanka will become one platform for a pluralistic society to emerge.