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Sunday, 2 September 2012

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UPFA will romp home

Elections to the North Central, Sabaragamuwa and Eastern Provincial Councils will be held on Saturday. These are not mere elections to three Provincial Councils, but are decisive in that the masses should be vigilant as various interested elements, both here and abroad, are yearning to put their agendas in motion.

It is an open secret that the Tiger cohorts and a section of the Tamil Diaspora are going hammer and tongs to reactivate the separatist ideology after the LTTE was crushed militarily in May 2009. Tiger sympathisers and LTTE leaders abroad have been working hand in glove with several international organisations and some Western politicians who depend on the Tamil Diaspora votes.

These elements have spared no pains to uphold the utopian idea of a separate state. It is still fresh in people's minds how the lavish funding of LTTE front organisations abroad had helped several Western politicians and certain international organisations.

Taking Sri Lanka to task and attempting to haul the country's leaders who gave the much-needed political leadership to eradicate terrorism and eliminate the LTTE leadership before an international war tribunal are foremost among the many goals of the LTTE cohorts in the West.

Exerting pressure on the Government through various international organisations and enlisting the support of politicians in certain countries in the West who support them is another ploy by LTTE sympathisers abroad.

The US-led resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), had no doubt, kindled fresh hopes in the remaining LTTE leaders abroad. Though the top LTTE leadership had been vanquished during the 2006-2009 battle against terrorism, the second-rung Tiger leaders abroad are doing their damnedest to strengthen their international network and raise fresh funds to keep their separatist dream alive.

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA), in the meantime, is also making a subtle attempt to adopt the same LTTE stance as the sole representatives of the Tamils. Nevertheless, the fact remains that neither the LTTE nor the TNA was accepted by the majority Tamil community as their sole representative. When the LTTE had subjected the Tamils to untold misery, the TNA did not utter a word on behalf of its own community and acted as puppets on a string.

In the absence of the LTTE, the TNA, which was at one time remote-controlled by the Tiger leadership from their Wanni hideouts, is now trying to capture the hearts of the Tamils. The Eastern Provincial Council election has turned out to be a money-spinner for the TNA which is hell-bent on exploiting the Eelam dream of the LTTE cohorts abroad.

An unprecedented volume of funds has been channelled to TNA coffers by certain Tamil Diaspora members in the hope that the former Tiger proxy party could keep their separatist dream alive. Some Tamil Diaspora leaders are under the illusion that the TNA could democratically achieve what Velupillai Prabhakaran and his goons failed in their bloody struggle.

Hence, the country is now at important crossroads with all eyes of the international community focused on the people's verdict at the forthcoming Provincial Council elections. A fresh mandate for the ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) will not only shatter all those dreams, but would also send a clear signal to the international community that the masses strongly support the people-friendly Government.

With terrorism eradicated and the Security Forces' liberating the country from the clutches of LTTE terror under the sagacious political leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, voters in the East will get another opportunity to elect their representatives to the Provincial Council. They must weigh the pros and cons and take into account their improved lifestyles after the scourge of terrorism was eliminated. The mega development projects launched, not only in these three provinces but in all others, are taking the country to new economic horizons.

People in the North and the East have been given a new lease of life. The two provinces are developing at a rapid pace of around 22 percent, compared to the country's near eight percent overall growth rate. When resettlement and demining are fully completed, elections to the Northern Provincial Council too would be held next year.

Considering the President's landslide victory with a majority of over 1.8 million votes at the 2010 Presidential election, and the near two-thirds majority the UPFA had secured at the general election that followed, the masses are set to strengthen the hands of the leader who had liberated the nation.

People in the North Central, Sabaragamuwa and Eastern Provinces should take a closer look at the progress Sri Lanka has made since President Rajapaksa took office in November 2005, when terrorism was at its peak and the economy on the verge of collapse. Since then, Sri Lanka has recorded unprecedented development in all spheres.

Sending another clear signal to the international community by winning the forthcoming Provincial Council elections would be important for the country's stability and economic development. Since President Rajapaksa will be the Head of State till November 2016 and the UPFA holds over two-thirds majority in Parliament till April 2016, it is the bounden duty of one and all to give the ruling party a fresh mandate at the Provincial Council elections as well.

Shady elements, both here and abroad, on the other hand, could resort to despicable attempts to take undue advantage if power in the Provincial Councils goes into the wrong hands. This could pose a threat to the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Hence, it is of utmost importance that one and all extend their gratitude and sincere support to the leader who saved our nation with the right political leadership.

Opportunist Opposition politicians, mainly in the TNA, are teaming up with certain Western forces, whose prime objective is to get rid of an administration which does not dance to their whims and fancies. Those who love this country should sink their differences and unite at this decisive hour.

Certain Western countries, which attempted to resuscitate the moribund LTTE till the last stages of the Security Forces' battle against terrorism, did everything in their power to have a 'leader' who would sacrifice anything and everything to appease the West. With providence, Mother Lanka thwarted such conspiracies in January 2010 and President Rajapaksa won a thumping six million votes, and a fresh mandate.

The time has now come for voters to teach a good lesson to all sinister forces - both here and abroad, which work according to their secret agendas. The masses, no doubt, will give a clear-cut mandate to President Rajapaksa again with an absolute majority at all three Provincial Councils to counter Western conspiracies and usher in economic prosperity.

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