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President’s name hailed by every freedom-loving world citizen - A H M Azwer, MP

Speech made by A H M Azwer, MP at the Budget 2012 debate in Parliament on Saturday.

‘Mr Deputy Chairman, thank you very much for calling me so early in the day to participate in this Committee Stage Discussion, I feel exceptionally elated and happy that I was given some time by the Chief Whip of the Government, Dinesh Gunawardena, to participate in this very important Committee Stage Discussion.

‘Sir, today, in the whole of Asia and even in the Middle East, the name of President Mahinda Rajapaksa ranks very high. Wherever we went with him, to the Arab countries or the Far East, it was the same. Quite recently, we went with him to the SAARC Conference in Male. They hailed him as a man of peace. “How did you achieve that, Sir?” That was what everybody was asking. “How did you completely eliminate the brutal war that was waged in your country for 30 long years?”, they asked. That is the lesson they wanted to learn from us. It was none other than Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who said, when the President and his delegation met him: “Sir, you are a senior leader of Asia. People have given you an overwhelming mandate for the second time. You must take up the leadership of Asia”. That was the high praise Ban Ki-moon himself paid to our President. After achieving peace and eliminating terrorism, his name is hailed by every freedom-loving world citizen.


A H M Azwer, MP

‘When I look at the way things are progressing, when you consider the victory after victory he was able to achieve, the marvellous economic revival taking place in the country, how he has brought the North and the South together, the South and the East and the Centre together, which no other leader has been able to achieve so far. I have been with leaders like President J R Jayewardene and others, who could not achieve this. I make bold to say in this House today, that President Mahinda Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka is entitled to receive the Nobel Peace Prize this year. I think they would seriously consider this.

‘Then, see the gigantic pace at which economic revival is being carried out. In those days, we used to say “all roads lead to Rome”. Now, all roads lead to Hambantota, not only to Hambantota, but to Galle, Matara, the Eastern Province-Kalmunai, Pottuvil, Batticaloa, Trincomalee – Kurunegala and so on. What a marvellous expressway he declared open the other day !

‘The Southern Expressway. Ceremonially declared open as the “Gateway to Wonder” at Galle on Sunday, November 27, 2011 by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, is a marvel to the eye, an absolutely magnificent piece of work, consolidating the South-Western Quadrant of Sri Lanka. This Expressway is unique compared with those seen in Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, Seoul and other international townships in the Far Est. Unlike those grandiose foreign roadworks plying through mostly urbanized precincts of concrete jungles, the Gateway to Wonder wends its way serenely via II interchanges amidst the plush greenery of virgin lands untouched by man. Sir, mark my words, “virgin lands untouched by man”. The fleeting natural scenery on either side of the traveller along the “Gateway to Wonder” is a God’s gift to mankind; an experience of sheer joy.

”This grand project is one more remarkable addition to the extensive beautification of the Colombo City, the systematic disposal of garbage, the upgrading of the life standards of people, causing a confluence of all minds in one positive direction. Another project in the “Mahinda Chinthana” is fulfilled in that of the development of the road network and transport system. Here is he full blooming of “Mahinda Chinthana”. This is the Magna Carta of Sri Lanka. The Magna Carta gave the British people liberty and a sense of freedom. But, this “Mahinda Chinthana” goes further than that. It gives liberty, freedom and self-respect to the citizenry and also spells out the development programme of the country in full measure.

“In his address at Karandeniya, President Mahinda Rajapaksa shared his vision of a similar expressway linking Colombo with Jaffna via the longwinded A-9 road and another connecting Colombo with Kandy, and by end 2012, the Colombo-Katunayake Expressway. Now, what do the Jaffna people want? The other day. I heard the Mavai Senathirajah telling this House: “We do not want liberty and development at the expense of the Tamil people”. What is he talking about? The people of the North and the East are also enjoying the fruits of the development work initiated by this Government. They know the value of it. You speak to the diaspora for your own purposes. But, people in the North are enjoying life. I will tell you one thing. When we go to the United States and other countries, people who fled this country and who were chased away in 1983 during the “Black July” - do not forget – they say pointing out to their grandchildren.

“The children in the West, want to taste the Jaffna karthakolomban mangoes, kottakilangu, and want to travel on the A-9 road.

You are going to get a magnificent A-9 road linked with Jaffna. This is the development. Who is the leader in the Tamil world who took a bold decision to address the United Nations in the Tamil Language? The world Tamil community acknowledges it and you dare not in this House. What a shame !

”His Excellency also foresaw the future by extending the “Gateway to Wonder” to Mattala International Airport and encompassing the Hambantota Harbour. It has been done very well; it has been thought out very well. Now, in time to come, Sir, in four or five years, our Muslims from Colombo and the rest of the places will travel to Hambantota in order to take the flight to the Holy City of Mecca for the performance of Haj.

(The Deputy Chairman)

Please wind up.

(The Hon. Alhaj A H M Azwer)

Give me two minutes more and I will wind up.

“Making the keynote address at the inauguration of National Conference on Reconciliation at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies on November 24, 2011, the Secretary of Defence and Urban Development, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa rightly endorsed Sri Lanka’s stance and said that it did not need external guidance to achieve post-conflict reconciliation, which is now in progress. How true, Mr Deputy Chairman! Surely, Sri Lanka will certainly not bow down to any foreign power, we are a self-respecting nation. We have won Independence on our own without shedding a drop of blood and we will not be dictated to by any other powers; dictates in its road to achieving prosperity on the foundations of peace – peace which emerged like a Phoenix from the sullen ashes of terrorism, which tormented this land for 30 traumatic years.

That was a parlous period of decadence and decay. We have emerged from that morass and are now on the path to progress and development within a pious aura of peace and reconciliation.

It is now incumbent upon every loyal and law-abiding citizen, immaterial of party-politics, communal group or religious sect, to come together as one body and support Sri Lanka on its path to progress.

The Leader of the Opposition was crying this morning that the Commissions have not been appointed. Sir, the Parliamentary Council duly appointed under the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution, met several times.

I am also a Member of that Council. The Human Rights Commission, the Finance Commission, the Public Service Commission, and the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption were appointed and a Member to the Judicial Services Commission, three Judges for the Supreme Court, two Judges for the Court of Appeal, Auditor-General H A S Samaraweera and the Attorney-General, Eva Wanasundara, were also appointed by this Council. Only the National Police Commission and the Delimitation Commission will be appointed, but the Election Commission will be appointed, perhaps, when there is an election round the corner.

The fact I want to emphasize is that the man who speaks so much of Parliamentary democracy and independence, Ranil Wickremesinghe, the Leader of the Opposition, who is a Member of this Parliamentary Council, has failed to attend even a single meeting and when the media asked D M Swaminathan as to why he did not attend the Council Meeting, he has gone on record saying, “My Leader did not want me to attend it”. This is the way he pays respect to this Parliament and Parliamentary democracy. Sir, what nonsense he is speaking! He is speaking about Sarath Fonseka’.

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