The leader with courage and commitment | Daily News

The leader with courage and commitment

National pride and identity restored:

The custody of our motherland was handed over to Gotabaya Rajapaksa on November 16, 2019, as the people of this country have recognized him through his past practice of being a direct and practical leader who performs what he says and says what he performs. Thus the historic hour of rebuilding our motherland dawned two years ago.

The people of Sri Lanka elected the candidate fielded by the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna, the youngest party in politics because of their unwavering belief that Gotabaya Rajapaksa has the courage and commitment to transform the country that has been saddled with numerous crises.

Two years is not at all a long period in history. For a Nation, it’s only a fraction of the time. However, for the new government, with long term plans for five years, the first two year period was important. In that short span of time, the government commenced implementation of long-term development programmes and significant achievements were made, despite the overwhelming economic challenges and unprecedented health problems that surfaced.

Systematic approach

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's administration is exemplary. Instead of criticizing the previous government, he took steps to systematically and objectively implement the “Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour” which was placed before the country.

President Rajapaksa is a leader with a simple lifestyle. He disposed of the elite escort vehicles that were speeding in violation of traffic rules. He removed tens of thousands of employees and limited his staff to the extent necessary to provide public service. He chose the house he had built to continue to live in instead of the luxurious mansion as his abode and thereby set an example for the country and the world.

One of the main demands of the people of this country was to ensure national security. National security was ensured by reorganizing the entire security system that had been broken down. The President’s biggest victory is his ability to give the people a sense of security and peace. The massive campaign to curb crime and drug smuggling and the steps taken to strengthen the law and order machinery has given people a sense of assurance and a feeling of security. There is confidence placed in the abilities of the Police, ably assisted by the Security Forces to maintain law and order and the people now feel that they could indulge in their day-to-day activities without any fear.

The Gotabaya Rajapaksa Government succeeded in laying a solid foundation for implementation of the policies as envisaged in his Election Manifesto, ‘Saubhagyaye Dekma – Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour’. One of the most significant steps taken was to uplift the poorest of the poor families in the country by recruiting 100,000 unemployed youth from poor families in the most under-developed regions in the country. The selected youth were assigned to public sector offices to fill existing vacancies of unskilled workers. Thus 100,000 poorest of the poor families were assured of a monthly income, uplifting them to a higher step on the social ladder. At the same time, the unskilled youths were given an opportunity to learn skills so they would be equipped with capabilities for upward mobility.

Encouraging skill-development

Simultaneously, under the graduate employment scheme, more than 60,000 unemployed graduates were recruited and they are being provided with skills training. They will get their permanent postings in January 2022.

President Rajapaksa displayed his strength to take decisions in the long term interest of the country and the people, though some decisions were brought an element of short term unpopularity. His decision to ban chemical fertilizer came in for heavy criticism from some quarters. Despite that, he vowed not to change the decision taken in the interest of the health of future generations.

As a foundation was laid for a productions-based economy, the government faced the biggest challenge, the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. Against this massive challenge, the health sector cooperating fully with the Security Forces and Police succeeded in containing the first three waves of the pandemic in a remarkable manner.

Despite the alarming magnitude of the third wave, the government succeeded in bringing it to a manageable level by its most-ambitious accelerated vaccination exercise. President Rajapaksa with his methodical approach to problem-solving, deployed the armed forces to assist the health sector, thus ably supplementing the stretched health staff with disciplined soldiers to take over the quarantine work as well as the planned vaccination programme.

Productive citizenry

The supply of all forms of vaccines produced across the world to the people of this country was expedited. This is a significant achievement for an Asian country and has been praised by the World Health Organization as well.

What President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has done in the first two years covers a wide range of political, economic, social and cultural spheres? The number of tasks that have been done sans festivals, functions and shows is immense.

The Gotabaya Rajapaksa Government of Prosperity that has overcome the challenges of a people-centric economy is truly a people's aspiration.

Despite challenges, the people have faith that President Rajapaksa will implement the remaining part of the election manifesto aimed at achieving the fourfold outcome of a productive citizenry, a contented family, a disciplined and just society and a prosperous nation.

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