President Rajapaksa is LMD’s Sri Lankan of the Year
Leading business magazine LMD has said that its Sri Lankan of the
Year is President Mahinda Rajapaksa. In its lead story in the December
issue, the journal states that it is “hard to deny the role of the
President in maintaining this nation’s sovereignty and crushing the
scourge of terrorism after a lapse of 26 years”.
LMD said that “2009 will undoubtedly go down in the annals of history
as the year a tiny island-nation succeeded in defeating one of the most
ruthless terrorist organisations the world has ever seen”.
It is in this backdrop, said the magazine, “that we honour the
architect of the military operation that united the country again, and
the custodian and First Citizen of Sri Lanka - the President, Mahinda
Rajapaksa - as LMD’s Sri Lankan of the Year”.
A spokesperson for LMD’s publisher Media Services said, “This honour
is bestowed on the President in the context of him being
Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces who were heroic in getting about
the business of annihilating an enemy at great personal cost - a feat
that none before them could even come close to achieving.”
And in an exclusive with LMD on accepting the prestigious award, the
President said, “Ours is a truly irrevocably unitary State. The benefits
accruing from the envisaged rapid economic development of the country
should be shared by the entire citizenry irrespective of which part they
live in. Now, the north and east, suffering from the vast consequences
of the war, would naturally require my earnest attention.
It will be my responsibility to ensure that whatever resources
directed towards this end will be optimally utilised.”
He said, “The people must not forget that we were entangled in a
26-year-old war that depleted almost all our resources that were set
apart for economic development. One must understand that in the past,
much resources were spent on the war but without any result. There was
also no significant infrastructure development, resulting in a drastic
slowing down of our economy.”
LMD asked the President what his vision for Sri Lanka is and where he
sees it heading in the next 10 to 25 years.
“My vision for this country is what I see essentially as the
attainment of the spirit of Mahinda Chinthana. I can justifiably sense
that as a nation, we have been moving in the right direction in the last
four years since I assumed office.
In other words, I want to see every Sri Lankan living in harmony and
in prosperity. I have already declared that now we don’t have any group
of citizens labelled as ‘minorities’.
We will treat everybody alike. There would be no discrimination
because of one’s race, religion or any other social classification,” the
President told the magazine.
The full-length exclusive interview with President Rajapaksa appears
in the December edition of LMD, which will be released tomorrow to all
major bookstores and selected supermarkets.