President delivers most pledges
The UPFA candidate and the then
Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa presented a unique policy statement,
titled Mahinda Chinthana during the 2005 November Presidential Election
campaign. Instead of the customary election pledges where the voters
have had a bitter experience over the past 50 years, the President has
unveiled an innovative policy statement, which was tailor-made to suit
the expectations of the masses.
It was a visionary statement with a perfect understanding of the
pulse of the people, both rural and urban. People who were sick and
tired of the loads of election pledges which hardly materialised in the
past, wholeheartedly rendered their overwhelming support to implement
the Mahinda Chinthana by electing Mahinda Rajapaksa as the fifth
Executive President of Sri Lanka on November 17, 2005.
This opened a new chapter in the annals of Sri Lanka's history. Many
courageous and significant decisions were taken to change the destiny of
the nation. The LTTE's three-decade-long ruthless terrorism, which had
been the nation's biggest bugbear, was overcome with the right political
During the 2005 Presidential Election campaign, the masses looked
forward to a mere solitary expectation from the winning candidate -
wiping out LTTE terror which had inflicted untold agony on the entire
nation, irrespective of race, religion and political affiliations.
On the other hand, President Rajapaksa not only inspired the
country's valiant Security Forces to achieve that Herculean task, but
also fulfilled the other aspirations of the nation by implementing more
than 94 percent of the policies and proposals in the 2005 Mahinda
Chinthana. More importantly, President Rajapaksa executed the gigantic
task of eradicating terrorism and achieving economic prosperity in four
Despite waging a war against the most brutal terrorist outfit in the
world amidst mounting pressure from a section of the International
Community, President Rajapaksa and his Government embarked on massive
development projects - a unique achievement hard to match.
The five ports including the Hambantota Port and Mattala
International Airport are landmark projects in the Government's efforts
to develop infrastructure. Irrigation projects such as Moragahakanda
reservoir, Uma Oya, Kumbukkan Oya, power generation projects such as
Upper Kotmale hydropower station, Norochcholai coal power plant,
Kerawalapitiya power station and road development projects such as the
Southern Expressway and several flyovers in Colombo and suburbs stand
testimony to the development activities implemented under President
During his first four years in office, President Rajapaksa reached
great heights. He sacrificed two years of his term - exactly one-third
of his official term - to seek a fresh mandate from the people,
especially those living in the North and the East, who were denied an
equal opportunity to exercise their democratic rights due to LTTE
threats. In keeping with this, President Rajapaksa last week presented
his second policy statement - the Mahinda Chinthana 2, which is targeted
at ushering in economic prosperity during his second term in office.
In the Mahinda Chinthana 2, the President has stressed the need to
make Sri Lanka the centre of navigation, and travel, commerce, power and
energy and knowledge and make it the miracle of Asia. We are confident
that the youth in this country could make this happen.
Our village youth astonished the world by defeating the most barbaric
terrorist outfit in the world. The same youth could astound the world by
transforming Sri Lanka as the miracle of Asia. By this, we could build a
country where jobs will be freely available without youth going in
search of jobs. The chief aim of the Mahinda Chinthana 2 is to elevate
the standard of our rural youth. The Mahinda Chinthana 2 economic
policies are aimed at helping the Sri Lankan nation without filling the
pockets of foreign businessmen and racketeers.
President Rajapaksa has delivered most of the pledges made at the
2005 Presidential Election campaign and is determined to achieve the
goals set in the Mahinda Chinthana 2 during the next six years.
Unlike Sarath Fonseka, who is supported by the LTTE-proxy - the Tamil
National Alliance (TNA), President Rajapaksa has not offered anything
that affects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country.
Fonseka has not only embraced the TNA and betrayed the nation and the
Security Forces, but has also made many unrealistic promises to hoodwink
the voters. Fonseka, the former Army Commander, whose son-in-law is
being accused of shady arms deals with the Security Forces when Fonseka
was in office, has also pledged to sell petrol at Rs. 100 per litre. By
waiving off taxes and slashing Government revenue for public welfare,
Fonseka has promised to increase the salaries of public servants by
Rs.10,000. Anybody with even a little knowledge of basic economics knows
that this is practically impossible. Fonseka seems to be clueless about
financial matters and not surprising too with his mere 40-day experience
as a politician.
In contrast, President Rajapaksa has been bold enough to disclose
that he could increase the salaries of public servants by only Rs.2,500
per month. In a desperate bid to pull wool over the eyes of public
servants, Fonseka has craftily not mentioned as to when he would
implement his proposed salary hike and whether it is monthly or
It is crystal clear that he is taking the voters for a good ride with
his main campaign slogan of abolishing the Executive Presidency. He does
not give a definite time frame and instead, says that it would be done
one month after the next General Election for which a date has not been
fixed so far.
Nevertheless, at the same time he also says that he does not want to
be a non-Executive President like William Gopallawa and needs 'some'
powers with ministerial powers of five key subjects. Only Fonseka can
unravel the hidden agenda as political parties supporting him are
blissfully unaware of their fate.