Good Governance | Speeches

In a World of Risks: Today’s Threats to International Peace and Security

UN General Assembly: High-Level Thematic Debate on UN, Peace and Security

United Nations, New York

10 May 2016

Mr. President,
Let me take this opportunity to thank you for convening this important Plenary and Ms. Leymah Gbowee and His Excellency Ambassador Moussa for their opening statements. ,...

Secularism and the State

Science Po Master of Public Affairs Graduation

Paris, France

June 17, 2010

Secularism implies the relationship between Religion and Politics, more specifically between Religion and the State.

The concept of secularism has drawn its sources from the philosophy that Humans can order their lives and their societies without recourse to transcendant or supra natural powers,...

The Role of a Leader in a Developing Country

Rotary International Inaugural Session

Cochin, India

September 18, 2009

I am deeply honoured to have been invited to deliver the keynote address at the Rotary Institute, 2009 session. I have had a long association with Rotary and its varied activities, mainly in my country and in India.

May I express my gratitude for the warm welcome and generous hospitality extended to me by Rotary, India - especially Rotary, Kerala. Thank you too, for giving me the opportunity to visit Kerala. Needless to say, that we are most impressed by the rich natural beauty and the warmth of its people.

Democratic Governance: Unnecessary Evil or Prerequisite for Progress?

Rotary Club of Kandy Annual Meeting

Kandy, Sri Lank

March 25, 2009

I wish to present some thoughts to you on Democratic Governance and whether this is an evil that is unnecessary today or whether it is an essential need of the hour. I shall examine this question from the point of view of what is most effective for progress in the present world.

Reflection on Eleven Years as President

Farewell Address to the Nation

Colombo, Sri Lanka

December 2, 2005

Some days ago, after 33 years in service to our country, I laid down the responsibilities of office when the Presidency of Sri Lanka was vested in my successor.

Today I come to you with a message of farewell and to express my deep appreciation of the confidence and trust you placed in me for many long years. We have together walked thorny paths, strewn with the most trying challenges, tribulations, hatred and unearned abuse. At other times we have also walked along the path of healing, of forgiveness and noble achievements. All this was possible only because you, all the peoples of Sri Lanka, gave me your unstinted confidence and support...

Government and Citizen Response to the Tsunami

57th Anniversary of Sri Lankan Independence

Colombo, Sri Lanka

February 4, 2005

Today we commence the 57th year of Sri Lanka’s Independence at an unusual moment of our history. Through several millennia Sri Lanka has lived through a many checkered story. Yet none could disagree that the occurrence of the morning of 26th December, last year, a little over a month ago, is the most terrible and clearly the most devastating experience that Sri Lankans have lived. In one hour the fury of nature destroyed hundreds of thousand of lives. Thousands upon thousands of houses, buildings that we built through the centuries were swept away. Not only were many centuries of our sweat and effort ravaged but also a significant portion of our history.....

"We have to act together, if we are to emerge from the ashes of this destruction"

Address to the Nation following the 2004 Tsunami

Colombo, Sri Lanka

December 28, 2004

I address you today at a moment of deep shock and grief for our Nation caused by the most terrible disaster that has struck our country in recent history. Due to this natural disaster that has come upon us at an unexpected time and in an unforeseen manner, we have to bear the untimely loss of thousands of valuable lives. The destruction caused to property is of a hitherto unknown magnitude.....

Already Enacted Policies and Action Plans for the Future

Address to the Nation after 60 Days in Office

Colombo, Sri Lanka

June 12, 2004

The new United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) Government has just completed 60 days since assuming office on 10th April 2004. I believe that it is opportune to speak to the country of the Government’s policies and action plans for the future....

"The enterprise of re-kindling the flickering flames of democracy"

55th Anniversary of Sri Lankan Independence

Colombo, Sri Lanka

February 4, 2003

Today, on the 55th Anniversary of the Independence of Sri Lanka, as we celebrate the re-emergence of our Nation as an Independent, Sovereign State after many centuries of colonial rule, permit me to take this opportunity to wish every Sri Lankan good fortune, good health, lasting happiness and prosperity. I wish for all of us, the courage, honesty and wisdom to seek the solutions required for the issues that have dogged our Nation for several decades, to achieve freedom from poverty, freedom for every individual to live with equal opportunity, self-respect and dignity....

Enlightened Government

Address Celebrating 8 years as President

Colombo, Sri Lanka

November 12, 2002

Eight years ago on this day I had the privilege of assuming duties as President of Sri Lanka. The people of my country gave me a massive mandate – one of the largest majorities obtained by an elected President, anywhere in the world. I knew then and have not forgotten yet, that this victory was not mine alone. I believe it was the triumph of democracy, freedom and the desire of all my peoples for a good and decent government that would ensure the return of humane values, honesty and integrity and efficiency in our society. ...

Rebuilding a Democratic State

Sri Lanka Development Forum

Paris, France

December 18-19, 2000

I would first like to say that I am truly happy to be here with all of you together with my Ministers and my delegation of senior officials.  Since I last participated in the Aid Group meeting held in Paris six years ago, this is the first time I have had the occasion to meet collectively with all our friends of the  donor countries and institutions. Similarly, as in 1995 this is the first Aid Group meeting  held since the installation of a new government in Sri Lanka. ...

"Our vision is to enter the 21st century, as one of Asia's most developed and democratic Nations"

49th Anniversary of Sri Lankan Independence

Colombo, Sri Lanka

February 4, 1997

Today we celebrate 49 years of independence. As we step into our 50th year of independence, the moment is opportune for us to glance back at our achievements and our failures and to consider the tasks we need to accomplish, in order to transform the political independence we obtained in 1948 into a true and complete freedom for all our people....