Sri Lankan president urges political parties to unite to eradicate poverty, corruption on 71st National Day

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Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Monday urged all political parties to unite to eradicate poverty and corruption and accomplish the ultimate goals of Independence as the country celebrated its 71st National Day.

Sirisena, in a message to mark the National Day, said that Sri Lanka could accomplish colossal tasks, similar to those gigantic achievements of other great civilizations in the world by being independent.

"Our prime objective should be to collectively commit ourselves to achieving the true meaning of the freedom we obtained with a new vision and renewed vigour," Sirisena said.

"For future progress we need people with spirits invigorated by national customs, values and culture. We are people who established our own national identity from the beginning. Therefore, on this auspicious occasion, I would like to emphasize that time has come to build the economy of our country on the foundation of agriculture," he added.

Sirisena further remembered all the men and women who had dedicated themselves to safeguarding the freedom and independence of the island nation and the thousands who sacrificed their lives for this purpose.

Meanwhile, in a letter, Britain's Queen Elizabeth congratulated Sirisena on the occasion of the island country's 71st National Day and also sent her best wishes for the good fortune and happiness of the people of Sri Lanka in the coming year.

Sri Lanka held a grand military parade in capital Colombo to mark the 71st National Day which included an air and sea parade by the air force and the navy.

President Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, political legislators and diplomats were among those who were present to view the parade.

Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih was the Chief Guest at this year's celebratory event held in Colombo. 

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