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President says at launch of Mahinda Chintana Manifesto:

My aim country sans bribery, corruption

*I will make Sri Lanka hub of Asia

*A vote for Betel leaf a vote for freedom

*People will defeat anti national groups

Corruption cannot be eliminated according to the pickpocket’s formula just because a corrupt individual who had joined hands with corrupt force and cries hoarse about it. It is being done in a systematic and vigourous manner similar to the way the underworld and the Tiger terrorists were tackled, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the launch of the Mahinda Chinthana manifesto at the BMICH, Colombo yesterday.

The President said: “After January 27, I will devote all my time and energy towards achieving one objective. That is to build a strong and efficient country devoid of bribery and corruption. This will be a battle of the highest magnitude.” President Rajapaksa said it was common knowledge that except for eight months the balance period of his four year tenure was spent to face the challenge of the most powerful terrorist outfit in the world.

He said he had to wake up everyday with a heavy mind confronted with thousands of problems concerning the re-unification of the country so much so that he had no time to devote to other fronts which needed attention in the country.

Today people could lead their lives without fear or suspicion as a result of his endeavours. Development activities were now taking place rapidly on a countrywide scale, he said.

Among them the Uthuru Vasanthaya and Negenahira Navodaya programs took pride of place. It was the future generation which stood to benefit from these development activities. All this work will improve the living standards of the people. Development activities undertaken in the future decade would suffice for a long period of time.

The President said the forthcoming election is the first presidential election held after the defeat of terrorism.

“So let us all join hands like children of one mother to build a prosperous and bright Motherland devoid of hatred, oppression and revenge.”

President Rajapaksa said he was aware that as much as the people in the South those in the North and East valued his government’s economic policies.

“My economic policies are aimed to uplift the Sri Lankan nation without filling the pockets of foreign businessmen and racketeers.

“Sri Lanka is situated in a strategic and important portion in the world map. My single aim is to uplift the entire nation unto such a strategic and important position.

We have to prepare ourselves to make Sri Lanka the centre of navigation, and travel, commerce, power and energy and knowledge and make it the miracle of Asia.

Then we can make Sri Lanka which attracts people without destructing them. I know that our youth can make this happen.”

It is our village youth who startled the whole world by defeating the most ruthless terrorist outfit in the world.

It is these very same youth who will astound the world by transforming Sri Lanka as the miracle of Asia. Therefore we will build a country where jobs will come in search of youth without them having to go in search of jobs, he said.

“We will build a society which will protect and value patriotic citizens dedicated to the country’s well being. We will build a country where energetic and courageous people can raise their heads in society.

“We will also look after the disabled pensioners and the poor masses. We have to build a knowledgeable set of teachers and students who can capture the cyber world. We have to create a revival of literature and fine arts.”

The President said: “We will put a fullstop to a society which cried for or got deceived for a meal, clothing or housing. That period will end to bring about an era where food clothing and housing would be aplenty after the next six years.”

The President said he is a person who always kept his word and promised what is possible.

It is Buddhism which imbibed these traits in him, he said.

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