Vision for new Sri Lanka
President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his second term
inauguration speech rightly asserted that he would be taking
over this country with more courage, strength and confidence
than in 2005. No doubt even he would have had certain misgivings
at the time as to how he could steer the ship of State amid a
debilitating war that was eating into its vitals and sapping its
resources. He thus expended all his energy to overcome this
challenge for he knew this country was doomed if the canker of
terrorism was allowed to continue. He accomplished his goal with
single-minded purpose brushing off all threats and intimidation
from Western quarters.
He is now ready to take the nation on the course of
development and progress in his second term as President and
according to the vision for the new Sri Lanka he spelled out in
his speech yesterday there is no knowing to what heights he
would elevate the country at the end of it all.
The President also was firm that there should be no
impediment this time around in his journey to make Sri Lanka
Asia's Wonder. He made reference to the two most destructive
uprisings in the country's post independence history vowing not
to allow such diversions to mar the prospects he has laid out
for the country.
He said "our task as a nation on the rise to be among the
great nations of the world, is to prevent such bloodshed in
another 20 or 30 years". He correctly identified one of the
causes leading to such upheaval as the scourge of poverty. "I
believe that the eradication of poverty is greater than the
defeat of uprisings. It requires true bravery".
The President is also obviously aware that for the country to
succeed in achieving its development goals there necessarily has
to be a congenial climate which does not allow for rancour,
bitterness and friction among different communities and
segments. Hence he said his first task was to ensure lasting
national unity and sustainable, permanent peace in our
It is indeed gratifying to note the President's
farsightedness in realizing the need for national unity for any
national endeavour to succeed. No doubt he will go all out to
forge a true national reconciliation that would obviate the
grounds for any uprising or rebellion that could mar the
prospects of the country.
The President also emphasized the need for hard work to
achieve the development targets set for his second term.
Unencumbered by Presidential term limits he would no doubt wish
to see a majority of the development programs underway reach
their target before the end of his second term so that he could
draw up another master plan to take the country further afield
into new vistas and horizons. Hence his aim to modernize all
areas of employment to make them more productive is significant.
"It is by increasing the quality of work that my country can be
made the Wonder of Asia," he stressed.
This may also be a wake up call to the country's lethargic
bureaucracy and the notoriously unproductive public sector.
There can be no argument that if the country is to advance with
the modern world there is a crying need to improve the quality
of its workforce. The President no doubt has taken cognisance of
this. Hence his pledge to raise the level of computer literacy
to 75 percent in the near future "and make our future generation
true heroes of technology in the modern world". This is also
vital in the President's aspiration to make Sri Lanka the hub of
development in the five fold areas of naval, aviation, commerce,
trade, power and energy.
The President's keenness to ensure sustainable development
whilst taking the country into the modern era also is a most
welcome move considering the consequences of environmental
degradation that is being felt across the world today. The
President said "Nature as seen in trees, vegetation and animals
in our habitat should also obtain the benefits of the
development we achieve".
The President's express wish to engage with all friendly
nations in the country's new development era and his commitment
to the policy of Non-alignment once again reiterates Sri Lanka's
stance in clear terms vis a vis its international relations. "We
do not have enemy states or such groups or blocs. During the
last era, we worked with many nations in agreement and
friendship for national security. We now step into the
development era. We extend our hand of friendship to those who
assist us in this endeavour."
President Mahinda Rajapaksa commenced his second term
yesterday laying down the road map for the country's forward
march in the post war era. He has the enviable record of having
to start his second term on a clean slate after wiping out all
threats and conspiracies that haunted the country since the
beginning of the ethnic conflict.
But for all that the road will not be a smooth one and it
will need all the dedication and commitment of all Sri Lankans
to work towards making the country realize its full potential.
The President would thus need the support and co-operation of
all to steer the ship from the stormy seas just left behind and
sail into tranquil harbours in this his second term in office.