President, Govt ride high
The United People's Freedom
Alliances' (UPFA)'s landslide victory in the Uva Provincial Council and
at the Jaffna Municipal Council elections gave a clear and firm
indication of the popularity of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his
Last week's election results clearly showed that President
Rajapaksa's leadership is equally popular in the South as well as in the
North. His dynamic leadership - to liberate over half a million innocent
civilians from the clutches of the LTTE, eradication of terrorism and
plans to strengthen the economy, has won hearts of the masses.
The UPFA's latest election victory in a convincing fashion, amply
demonstrates the amount of faith of different communities in the
President and his Government. Undoubtedly, the mandate given by the
people in the Uva and Jaffna is an endorsement of the Government's
The Government has not only rescued civilians from the LTTE's
merciless rule but also restored their democratic rights by holding the
Local Government elections in Jaffna and Vavuniya. People in the two
Northern cities got an opportunity to exercise their democratic rights.
That enabled the people to elect their own representatives to run their
local government administrations.
No sooner the resettlement process is completed, the Provincial
Council elections will be held in the North to run its own regional
Ever since President Rajapaksa assumed office in November, 2005, many
far-reaching and nation-friendly decisions have been taken. No other
previous leader had taken such fearless and courageous decisions to
serve the best interests of the country and its people.
There had been immense pressure from several quarters, which was too
much to bear at times, during Sri Lanka's relentless battle against
terrorism. But the President's healthy international relations enabled
us to stand strong. Many friendly countries gave Sri Lanka their
We could never forget the manner in which China and Russia backed Sri
Lanka's battle against terrorism at home and at the UN Security Council.
This was contrary to what the United National Party (UNP) was trying
to project during Ranil Wickremesinghe's 2005 Presidential Election
While Wickremesinghe learnt an unforgettable lesson with his back to
back Presidential defeats, President Rajapaksa also proved how strong he
is in his international relations.
Shasheendra Rajapaksa rewrote election history in Uva Province. He
not only polled a record 136,697 votes but also became the architect of
inflicting the UNP its worst ever defeat. Young Rajapaksa has erased
former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga's all-time record
for the highest percentage of preferential votes by securing 84.4% of
the votes cast at the 1993 Western Provincial Council elections in the
Gampaha District. But the UPFA Chief Ministerial candidate had accounted
for 85.6% to erase Kumaratunga's record.
Since the UNP's formation way back in 1946, the party has suffered
its heaviest ever defeat in the Monaragala District, be it on the old
electorate wise or on the current district basis. Besides this, the UPFA
has secured over 80% of the votes from all three electorates in the
Monaragala District under the inspiring leadership of Shasheendra
Rajapaksa. It was a one horse race for the UPFA in the electorates of
Bibile, Moneragala and Wellawaya, securing 81%, 82% and 80% of the votes
Even the die-hard UNPers couldn't believe their eyes to see how badly
the UNP vote base has eroded. Nine years after the 2000 General
Elections, the UNP has polled only 15% of the votes in the Monaragala
After the bitter truth and the actual strength of its vote base were
exposed, the UNP is now coming out with a plethora of excuses to cover
their inability. The UNP has been rejected wholesale not only by the
people in Uva but also by the voters in the North too.
It was another first under Wickremesinghe's shaky leadership as the
UNP suffered its worst ever defeat in Moneragala District in its
62-year-old history. Moreover, Wickremesinghe has now proved beyond
reasonable doubt that he is the worst ever UNP leader with his party's
21st successive election defeat.
It is unfortunate that Wickremesinghe could still not feel the pulse
of the people. His impracticable theories and unpatriotic policies have
been flatly rejected by the masses. It is a pity that Wickremesinghe is
still holding onto the leadership though there are a few dynamic
characters amongst the party seniors.As a responsible opposition, the
UNP should, at least at this very late juncture, realise the aspirations
of the people and respect the verdict given by the people in the last
few elections. All what the UNP should do now is to support the good
work of President Rajapaksa and extend unconditional support to the
Government to meet future challenges.
Spending billions of rupees on defence to protect people from LTTE
terror and bringing economic prosperity at the same time are not easy
tasks by any means. Amidst the global recession and adverse economic
trends in Asia, Sri Lanka has beaten all overwhelming odds to face
challenges successfully. The Government will soon usher in economic
prosperity with the contribution of the people in the North and East.
The masses have confidence in President Rajapaksa and his Government.
They strongly believe that the President could take Sri Lanka to greater
heights both socially and economically.
That is precisely why the UPFA is going great guns, emerging
victorious at every election. Soon, the elections to the Southern
Provincial Council too would be held. Needless to say a that the UPFA is
set to secure the South with a thumping majority. There was a time the
UNP folded the electoral map under the J.R. Jayewardene regime and the
then Opposition was starved of opportunities to elect their members
But now that President Rajapaksa has given enough and more
opportunities for the UNP to show their strength, the party has failed
at every given opportunity. Having lost 21 elections in a row and being
unable to face the masses, the UNP has now developed an election phobia
to get rid of the situation.