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Sunday, 5 February 2006  
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President tells Nation :

Shed more sweat for peace

In his Address to the Nation on the occasion of the 58th Anniversary of Independence President Mahinda Rajapakse said we should bear well in our minds that if we are to stop the increasing flow of blood through war we should shed more and more sweat in the cause of peace.

"The new peace process that we launch shall in all ways be a transparent process. There is nothing to hide in it. We are not preparing to forcibly bring about a solution. Similarly, we shall not be frightened by threats from any quarter," he said stating that the government's aim is to bring about a national consensus from a solution that is brought about by broad and deep discussion.

He made an open appeal to the main Opposition party and all other political parties to extend support to the government's peace process by putting the "Country" first.

Referring to the success in the breakthrough that brought about the Geneva meeting the President said that it "should be shared equally among the Government and all those in the Opposition who participated in the effort."

Referring to past attempts at achieving peace the President said, "There is no benefit achieved in blaming the past. We should not forget the past, but instead learn from lessons of the past."

He also called for the establishment of a structure of State to bring about genuine participation of all sections of the people in development activities and the administration of the government. He also made a special pledge to protect human rights and values whether in the North or the South.

Speaking of challenges facing the nation the President said, "It is important to remember that breaking the shackles of subjugation in a country or society is not confined to winning freedom from colonial rule. It is necessary for the life of the citizen to be also freed from all forms of subjugation.

The state should always be one that is free from subjugation in every form."

Right throughout his Address the president underlined the need to forge bonds of a united society that has come to build a New Sri Lanka.

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