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Wednesday, 26 January 2011

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Government Gazette

Fruitful first year

Today marks the first anniversary of the election victory of President Mahinda Rajapaksa installing him for a second term in office as President. Several functions and ceremonies including multi-religious observances have been organised to mark the event. This time last year there were unprecedented scenes across the country as people lit crackers and ate kiribath on the streets to celebrate the overwhelming victory. It was the first time that an incumbent President won the race with a near 60 percent mandate and the mood of the public naturally was one of jubilation.

Today one year on, this mood of the public remains unshaken despite the many vicissitudes such as the rise in the cost of living and a string of natural disasters such as the recent unprecedented floods that took a heavy toll on the economy. This is because the larger masses are forever grateful to the President for ending the scourge of terrorism that plagued the nation for three decades ushering in lasting peace that is now being enjoyed to the fullest.

It is this singular factor that contributed to the electoral fortunes of the President one year ago and is likely to be further underlined at the upcoming Local Council elections. This is because more than anything else today people have banished the sense of fear and insecurity that gripped their lives not many moons ago and are breathing the fresh air of peace and tranquillity. Mothers no longer live in fear and apprehension until the safe return of their offspring from schools. Wives are no more on pins at the news of a bomb blast in the city wondering if their husbands are among the victims. Roads that were closed have been opened and barricades come down in hitherto no go zones in the city all contributing to an air of serene comfort. All these no doubt are standing symbols of the change wrought by the President. His first year naturally was devoted to building on this climate of peace by promoting trade and foreign investment and generally consolidating the economic gains.

No doubt the country has still a long way to go before it achieves the President's desired goal of becoming the Wonder of Asia but there is no denying that he has laid a firm groundwork to make this dream a reality. The President did not stall development proffering the excuse of war even during the height of the conflict and during his first year took the country to new heights in the development sphere under a more congenial environment.

The first anniversary of any event is no doubt a time to reflect and take stock. There is no doubt a tendency to look back and enumerate the positives and negatives of the preceding year and also identify the mistakes in order to take remedial action to redress such shortcomings. It is also a time to identify the priorities and implement measures to realize them. Therefore this is an ideal time to make a genuine assessment of the pluses and minuses of the past year and devise measures to consolidate on the successes and stamp out the minuses in order to take the country on an accelerated journey towards progress and prosperity. This no doubt would be uppermost in the mind of the President given his frequent meetings with officials and administrative top brass designed to iron out all deficiencies and make positive progress.

The year was certainly productive in the development sphere where many mega projects were commissioned with others nearing completion and expected to be operational in the President's second term. Chief among them was the commissioning of the first stage of the Hambantota International Port, the country's second fully fledged harbour that would make Sri Lanka a major maritime hub in the Indian ocean with immeasurable economic benefits. A second fully fledged international Air port is also being built in the South. No doubt all these mega development schemes have transformed the Southern landscape into a burgeoning commercial hub empowering the rural masses while adding new infrastructure to a neglected, development starved backwater.

The first year in retrospect was a year of consolidation for President Rajapaksa. As mentioned there is still a long way to go and the President is aware of the magnitude of the task ahead. He will no doubt make all efforts to use the past year as a springboard to launch his more ambitious programs to move the country forward into conquering new vistas and frontiers.

President Rajapaksa proceeded with steadfast commitment to liberate the country from terrorism and prevent its dismemberment defying the threats and intimidation of the Western powers. No doubt it is the wish of the people that he steps into the next phase and take the country forward to realize its development potential, with the same single-minded purpose and zeal.

President, leader of one nation

Endorsement for President’s leadership:

A leader close to people’s hearts:

An year has passed since the last Presidential election. A lot of scenarios appeared during these 365 days, especially in the political arena. The majority in the island endorsed Mahinda Rajapaksa’s leadership for the second time in a landslide victory over his main opponent Democratic United Alliance (DUA) candidate Sarath Fonseka,

Full Story

The Morning Inspection

It is ok if you forgot what happened on January 25th

There have been 13 January 25ths since 1998 and none of those days are significant to me personally. On each of those January 25ths I forgot that on a particular January 25th, that of 1998, the LTTE carried out a cowardly and devastating attack on the place of religious significance held most sacred by the Buddhists, the Dalada Maligawa

Full Story

Peace, pre-condition for progress

Once again time has been gracious enough to give us another opportunity to make amends for all commissions and omissions that have taken place, whether wittingly or unwittingly. On a few other occasions, too,

Full Story

 

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