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Government Gazette

Congratulations to President:

Dawn of a new beginning

On behalf of the Sri Lankan Sangha Council of America and Canada I would like to congratulate President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the victory over the terrorists who have held parts of Sri Lanka hostage. After nearly thirty years the people of Sri Lanka can finally begin to live without fear of terrorist activities. Your determination to end the war clearly demonstrates strength and has proven beyond doubt the ability to lead the country during the most difficult times.

We also give our heartiest commendation to the Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, for his masterful strategy, and to Supreme Commander General Sarath Fonseka, for brilliantly implementing the plan. To the members of the Armed Forces: Army, Navy, Air Force and Police we all offer our undying gratitude for courageous service and for the sacrifices that each of them and their families have made while defending the country.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa

Ven. Walpola Piyananda

I am very proud that you, Mr. President withstood the arrogantly applied pressure of the Western powers in their bid to force the Government to enact a ceasefire, which would have given the terrorists an opportunity to re-group and re-arm. The British, once our colonial masters and one of the Government’s biggest critics, have fallen victim to their national Karma for they cannot control the LTTE in their country even though the LTTE are now finished in Sri Lanka. It saddens me that Parliament Square is now referred to as ‘Tiger Square’ and that the battlefront has moved on to other shores. US Ambassador Robert Blake, was also highly critical of your Government’s war against the terrorists, but I see that he personally called to congratulate you on this victory a day or two ago. I’m happy to see that he changed his mind, and hopefully he will put in a good word about our country’s efforts to establish peace for all its citizens, if and when he assumes his next post as Deputy Ambassador for the entire South Asian Region.

As Buddhists we believe that all men are equal, and that we must respect one another regardless of race, religion, gender, caste, colour or belief. At this time we have an urgent need to work together in harmony as a team to rebuild our country, realizing that it is better to consign the wrongs committed by all sides to the past where it belongs. Now we have the opportunity of a new beginning and we should take full advantage of it by living peacefully in each present moment.

I feel confident that you, Mr. President will be able to unite all people of Sri Lanka under one stable, pluralistic elected government where everyone has a voice. I know that you realize the supreme importance of having us all put Sri Lanka first, and our identification with anything else in the background. Let us hope that all of our people will follow your example and see themselves as responsible Sri Lankan citizens in order to build a bright future for the country. Working together with patience, kindness and understanding, each individual, through building a strong stable country will have the opportunity to develop to their fullest potential.

At this time, we have to be careful of so-called offers of humanitarian help for our people. We know how some NGOs and other foreign organizations attempt to enter the IDP camps with their hidden agendas. While their services can be accepted, they should be carefully monitored. The decision to change any customs, traditions or cultural aspects belongs to us; not to some outside organizations. Making use of Sri Lanka’s most qualified individuals, the country can reach its goals of a strong, independent democracy where her citizens can excel in all their peaceful endeavours for themselves and their families.

Your Excellency, you worshipped the ground when you returned from your recent trip abroad, an act demonstrating the esteem you have for our homeland; that we all have for Sri Lanka. With the looming global food crisis we support you, Mr. President, in your efforts to cultivate the arable land and the surrounding seas to ensure the safety and survival of all our people. May we all learn from the compassion of the Buddha to treat each other with respect, giving each and every citizen of Sri Lanka the opportunity to peacefully seek his or her own truth and happiness.

Mr. President, may you have the Blessings of the Triple Gem.

Ven. Piyananda is the founder-president of Dharma Vijaya Buddhist Vihara in Los Angeles, California, Sri Lankan Sangha Council of America and Canada


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