Sri Lanka’s achievements, a pride to all
Another New Year dawned last night,
providing us an opportunity to take stock of our achievements and
failures during 2011 and face the challenges ahead.
It is customary for people to look forward to the New Year with fresh
hopes, expectations and goals in life for a better tomorrow.
Nevertheless, unfulfilled expectations and aspirations would
invariably compel some of us to dismiss such yearnings with scepticism
The New Year is a time for introspection and resolution. Sri Lanka
could be proud of its splendid achievements during the past six years,
each having its own unique milestones.
Reminiscing the past years, 2006 would certainly go down in the
annals of Sri Lanka’s history as the year Sri Lanka launched the worlds
greatest human rescue operation to end three decades of misery due to
terrorism. The red letter day in Sri Lanka’s history was achieved in
2009. Year 2011 will go down in history as the year in which Sri Lanka
launched its first ever super highway, opening a new chapter in the
country’s infrastructure development. We fervently wish the New Year
would usher in the dream of building a new Sri Lanka through national
reconciliation and unity among all communities would be a reality. Over
the years, it has been customary to extend New Year greetings. However,
the time has now come for us to ponder seriously whether these greetings
are limited to mere words. In the New Year, people across the globe
would wish one another happiness, peace and prosperity.
Whatever said and done, we could transform these wishes into a
reality by living in amity with one another and respecting each other’s
beliefs, customs and traditions. Such a mindset is particularly
important to all of us in Sri Lanka as we stand together as one nation
after three decades of terror which had plagued the country.
Just six years ago, President Mahinda Rajapaksa was entrusted with
the gigantic task of taking Sri Lanka to new heights. It was during
January 2007 that the LTTE triggered a series of explosions in buses to
cripple day-to-day public life and uncertainty was the order of the day.
Today, we are proud of the manner in which the President has transformed
the country - from a terrorism-hit nation with an uncertain future to
one of the most peaceful countries marching triumphantly towards new
Most people were convinced that President Rajapaksa was the only
leader who could usher in peace and this was manifest when the country
was liberated from the jaws of LTTE terror on May 18, 2009 due to his
inspiring political leadership and the immense sacrifices on the part of
the Security Forces.
The path to peace and vanquishing terrorism was an uphill task.
Perhaps, peace at any cost would not have been that difficult and easily
achievable. But this honourable peace was achieved due to the supreme
efforts of Sri Lanka’s valiant Security Forces and the Presidents
unmatched political sagacity.
The peace, one and all enjoy today is not a kind of peace which was a
defeat to one party or a victory for another. It was an honourable
peace, acceptable to all communities in the country and a peace that
received the mandate of a majority of political parties.
Its now time for national reconciliation and all communities should
unite to develop our resplendent isle and make it the Wonder of Asia. We
are confident that everybody would fulfil this aim and build unity,
peace and prosperity among the people to live as one family and one
As we celebrate the New Year with our loved ones, we should spare a
thought for the thousands of Security Forces personnel on duty ensuring
national security. Unlike most of us, these guardian angels do not have
an opportunity to celebrate the New Year with their kith and kin.
They spend sleepless nights in bunkers, keeping a vigilant eye at all
times to ensure a safer tomorrow. Hence, our New Year thoughts should be
with those courageous men. We enjoy this freedom today due to their
indomitable courage, dedication and sacrifice. They are indeed the true
heroes who continue to protect us in the New Year too.
Terrorism which destroyed community life and crippled the economy
over the past three decades is now a thing of the past. Some countries
which encouraged terrorism are now filled with remorse for doing so
while Sri Lanka at the time battled the overwhelming odds to crush
terrorism. People the world over are keen to wipe out the scourge of
terrorism and foster lasting peace that would enable all nations to live
In this era of globalisation, the international community yearns to
dispel war and live in peace and harmony. There should be a spirit of
co-existence and national reconciliation. The report of the Lessons
Learnt and Reconciliation Commission has given food for thought. The
Government has made a sincere effort to create a just society where
people can live sans fear and suspicion.
It is heartening to note that the Government has taken all steps to
have a more fruitful dialogue among all communities in Sri Lanka and the
leaders of political parties to make the reconciliation process a
resounding success. The so-called peace agents of NGOs with vested
interests should not be permitted to harm Sri Lanka’s sovereignty and
People from all walks of life look forward to the New Year eagerly
with great expectations to give a better meaning to Sri Lanka’s
hard-earned peace. The Government has a big responsibility to fulfil the
aspirations and develop the country by making the optimum use of the
prevailing peaceful atmosphere.
Sri Lanka could undoubtedly take another giant leap forward this year
in its successful forward march as one of the fast developing countries.
Sri Lanka has shown a commendable economic growth since terrorism was
wiped out and the positive trend could improve further, affording a
better lifestyle and a secure future for all Sri Lankans.
No outside force could deter Sri Lanka from becoming a developed
nation in the near future, if the ongoing efforts of national
reconciliation are in place and all Sri Lankans unite as one nation.