It’s been two years since Maithripala Sirisena assumed office on January 9, 2015. Political analysts claimed his foreign policy was a refreshing change from a China-dependent model, to a more inclusive policy. The Maithripala Sirisena-led Yahapalana Coalition lobbied for a more non-aligned foreign policy.
In the Policy Statement delivered by the President addressing the eighth Parliament of Sri Lanka on September 1, 2015, he reiterated the importance of a green and sustainable economy which the government put into practice through establishing Sri Lanka’s first green university, the National School of Business Management in Homagama. His enthusiasm for sustainable development is also reflected in his most recent decision to extend the Wilpattu boundary.
Being a former Health Minister he has not neglected his original portfolio after ascending to the Presidency. Recently the President was feted for his contributions towards kidney disease prevention by the International Society of Nephrologists (ISN). He also inaugurated the ISN-Gardiner CKDu Fund last December for Freedom from Kidney ailments.The Office of Missing Persons is to be established and an Act in this regard has already been passed. The Right to Information Act was passed last year and will come into force this year, which would go a long way with media freedom.
The Steering Committee for Constitutional Reforms – one of many Yahapalana promises – is in the process of studying the reports produced by the six subcommittees. Judging by the content of the subcommittee reports specially the one on Fundamental Rights human rights are proposed to be expanded to include, for example, marginalized communities, such as LGBT. This is definitely a first for Sri Lanka.
Some of the Yahapalanaya promises have been delivered however slow the process has been. After all Rome wasn’t built in a day. At the end of two years the people are looking forward to new deliverables.