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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”.

Mahinda Rajapaksa

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.



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