COLOMBO, Dec. 31 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena said on Sunday that his government would work toward gaining a stronger economic prosperity and reconciliation, and further improving Sri Lanka's image in the international fora in the coming year 2018.
Releasing a New Year message, Sirisena said that as the country bid farewell to 2017, it welcomed the new year with new expectations.
"Every passing moment adds to our knowledge and experience and at the same time, each and every moment of the future will judge our capabilities to face new emerging challenges," Sirisena said.
"The great commitment and determined courage shown by us to face those challenges and achieve our goals will take us to the level of excellence," he added.
Accordingly, he said as a country, Sri Lanka could consider the past year, as a year in which many positive expectations had been fulfilled.
"The new year dawns at the time of a miraculous beginning of a new chapter of development with a gigantic hydro irrigation project being vested with the people to take the nation speedily towards prosperity," the president said.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his New Year message said that amid great challenges, Sri Lanka was able to steer forward in restoring economic stability and a process of sustainable development during 2017.
He said they had been successful in presenting Sri Lanka to the world as a country that respects and recognizes human dignity, in which all have access to social and political freedom and a country that abides by the principles of good governance.
"In the process, we have been able to generate a greater sense of goodwill among the international community towards Sri Lanka," Wickremesinghe said.
"We take this opportunity to thank everyone who accompanied us on the journey of emerging as a country with the highest regard for the principles of democracy and ethics. It is my most sincere hope that you would continue to be with us as we go forward," he added.