Full statement of the President,

By 4 p.m. the General Election 2015 ended. The counting of ballot papers commenced with the Commissioner of Elections giving leadership.

I believe that the election was held in a very peaceful and conducive atmosphere as a result of the changes and reforms initiated in the country, through good governance within the past six months, since I assumed duties as President of this country.

Comparing the prevailing situation with that which prevailed prior to the January 8 Presidential election and the post Presidential election era, you will realize that there are many changes now.

The attack I faced at Pelmadulla during the Presidential Election, the setting of political stages on fire at Baddegama, the shooting incident at Polonnaruwa and the killings at Nivithigala and other dreadful incidents are a case in point.

People of this country would still remember how the Government in power at that time misused State power, State property and State media during that election.

You all know very well that the just concluded election was a completely a different experience. This was an Election of a different form. I am extremely happy that a very peaceful election was held for the first time in Sri Lanka’s history at a time where I hold the reigns as President of this country. The key lesson one draws from this election is, that such a pleasant outcome of an election comes when the Head of the State refrains from getting involved in the election campaign per se and stays neutral which contributes heavily to the holding of a peaceful election.

Hence, we all should enjoy this historical moment. I take this opportunity to express my deepest appreciation of the services rendered by the Commissioner of Elections, his officials, Returning Officers, Officers in Charge of the Polling Stations, Officers at the Counting Centres and other state officials handling other election-related work , to the Inspector General of Police and to his co-officers and to the Commander of Sri Lanka Army and other officers involved in providing security. I highly appreciate their sense of responsibility, their commitment to service and work towards ensuring the conduct of peaceful election.

I would also express by thanks and appreciation to the Foreign Election Observers who provided their valuable time, extended their fullest support and for sharing their experience. They would have also noted the vast change in conducting elections within the past decade in the political history of this country. They undoubtedly would have noted this election to be the most peaceful election held in decades.

Finally, I request all my countrymen, to enjoy the peaceful outcome of the General Election irrespective of political differences and without resorting to violence. The winners should never harm and harass the defeated either physically or mentally and treated them well.

By behaving in a civilized manner during the post election period, we would bring credit and honour to our Motherland, both nationally and internationally. I invite all as one to enjoy the outcome of the General election.

Thank you.