Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 20 March 2011





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Government Gazette

Another feather in UPFA’s cap

The United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA), led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, scored yet another convincing election victory, at the Local Government polls on Thursday.

From the time President Rajapaksa took office on November 18, 2005, he has demonstrated his faith in democracy in no uncertain terms by conducting elections prior to the scheduled dates or even earlier.

He even called for a Presidential election two years prior to the due date, thereby foregoing a part of his first six-year term in office. During the past couple of years, the Government has proved its faith in democracy by holding Local Government, Provincial Council, General Elections and Presidential Elections.

At all those elections, the masses continued to repose their faith in President Rajapaksa and the Government as the UPFA had landslide victories in rapid succession.

Never in Sri Lanka’s history did the country hold such a large number of elections within such a short period. President Rajapaksa’s sole wish was to give the masses as many opportunities as possible to exercise their democratic right.

Hailing from the remote Hambantota District, the President cherishes democracy and the people’s power. This is the chief reason as to why the President conducts elections on a regular basis - to understand the pulse of the people better. The elections bear mute testimony that the masses strongly support his dynamic leadership.

Even countries which pontificate to us on five-star democracy have not held as many elections as Sri Lanka. People still recall the time when former President J.R. Jayewardene folded the electoral map and extended the term of Parliament in the guise of a referendum in 1983.

The fact that the Rajapaksa administration holds elections even before due dates seems to have given a headache to the Opposition. This is purely because the main Opposition - the United National Party (UNP) had lost over 25 elections consecutively. This has led to an internal power struggle in the UNP with its leaders trying to apportion blame on each other.

Now that the UNP has been routed again, this time, at Local Government bodies, Ranil Wickremesinghe and Sajith Premadasa would invariably put the blame on each other and wash their hands off the matter.

At the outset of the UNP’s LG polls campaign, Premadasa openly declared that he was spearheading the Greens’ campaign as Wickremesinghe had fled the country, handing him the responsibility of leading the polls campaign.

The UNP is back on square one and it is by no means fair for Premadasa to trot out lame excuses. He must take an equal share of the blame along with other party seniors. Could a political Lilliputian such as Premadasa do any better if a veteran and two-time former Prime Minister Wickremesinghe failed to deliver the goods? Premadasa should not take cover and blame Wickremesinghe for the fiasco.

All UNP seniors should be held responsible collectively for the ignominious defeats at successive elections. Instead of looking for shortcuts to capture power by undemocratic means, the UNP stalwarts must collectively draw up a strategy to win future elections.

The UNP seniors should even at this late stage give up their internecine warfare for party leadership and try to resurrect the moribund party for the next general election or presidential election in five to six years from now.

Premadasa and his ‘reformists’ in the UNP must take due cognizance of this bitter fact. The UNP had lost successive elections not solely because of its weak leadership but rather due to the immense popularity of the President and the unprecedented support of the masses to the truly people’s President.

President Rajapaksa’s illustrious political leadership to eradicate the LTTE and unite the country has been the hallmark of his success at recent elections.

Simultaneously, the right economic policies of the Government and widespread development projects implemented throughout the country have won the people’s hearts. The development drive with a truly Sri Lankan identity, blended with our foreign policy, has won unprecedented public support.

Hence, the Opposition caught with its pants down has no option, whatsoever, but to tarnish the image of the Government and its popular leader. They care two hoots and even sully the image of the motherland at international fora.

Regrettably, several Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) who depend heavily on foreign funding, have jumped the bandwagon and continue to project a gloomy picture about Sri Lanka before the International Community.

The question to be posed before the International Community, INGOs and those countries and organisations which are hell-bent on framing war crimes charges against Sri Lanka is whether the reason for doing so is because terrorism was eradicated.

When the so-called big countries are still grappling in their attempt to destroy the so-called international terrorism, Sri Lanka’s valiant Security Forces had vanquished the world’s most ruthless terror outfit in an exemplary manner.

Perhaps these so-called bigwigs must be feeling bashful of this bitter fact, especially since Sri Lanka’s Security Forces had achieved a resounding victory which is only a distant dream for even the world’s most sophisticated armies.

Had the Sri Lankan Government or its Security Forces committed any wrong-doing or been involved in inhuman acts during the battle against terror, they would have never attracted such overwhelming support from the masses.

People in the North and the East would never have voted for the Government or its allies if any of the so-called war crimes had been committed. This stands testimony to the Government’s genuineness.

President Rajapaksa has categorically said time and again that he is only answerable to the people of Sri Lanka and to those who elected him as the Head of State.

If the majority of the people in Sri Lanka have reposed their faith and support in President Rajapaksa and his government at successive elections, should one worry about extraneous elements which attempt to discredit Sri Lanka?

As long as the President and the Government continue to enjoy the majority support of the masses at successive elections, the INGOs and a few countries which attempt to discredit Sri Lanka could do precious little with their malicious campaigns.

Even at this late stage, the INGO mafia should abandon its sinister campaigns and allow Sri Lanka to handle its internal affairs.

Thursday’s election victory amply demonstrates the abiding public support President Rajapaksa and his Government enjoys. This is the majority wish in a democratic set-up. The people’s power reigns supreme.


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