A heroic leader who walked with the people | Sunday Observer

A heroic leader who walked with the people

15 November, 2020

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa saved our precious motherland thrice in the past and is now on his fourth mission to save Mother Lanka. Nothing can stop his successful mission of saving this historical island this time, as he is a legitimate son of Mother Lanka. He has proved his capabilities with concrete evidence on several occasions in the past.

The incumbent President and then Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa saved the motherland from the barbaric LTTE terrorists on May 18, 2009. He protected all Sri Lankans who suffered at the hands of the barbaric terrorists for three decades. The entire world knows about his heroic mission carried out with the heroic Security Forces under the leadership of the current Prime Minister and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

On November 16 , 2019 Gotabaya Rajapaksa became the President of Sri Lanka, winning 6,924,255 votes which was 52.25 per cent of the total votes cast with a majority of 1,360,016 votes as against his competitor Sajith Premadasa. For the second time, President Rajapaksa saved Sri Lanka from traitors who were about to sell the country’s natural and other resources to various foreign countries, allowing them to change Sri Lankan culture, religions and society according to their requirements. Before November 16, 2019, Sri Lanka was about to become a country similar to Haiti, Sudan or may be another Palestine if the `Yahapalana’ regime had continued.

After November 2019, however, the fundamentalists and extremists who were gradually destroying the country vanished. People once again travelled in buses and trains, worshipped in churches and enjoyed their holidays at hotels without fearing suicide bombers.

A six-member committee of professionals was appointed by President Rajapaksa to make recommendations on the appointment of competent personnel to the Boards of Public Enterprises, Statutory Agencies and State-owned Commercial Businesses as soon as he came into power.

Just four months into assuming duty Sri Lanka once again faced another grave danger, that of Covid-19. President Rajapaksa promptly established the Presidential Task Force and the National Action Committee comprising relevant authorities and professionals. Unlike the previous `Yahapalana’ regime, he gave due recognition to the health authorities and allowed them to work independently.

He did not stop at that. He regularly consulted health officials to make necessary changes in the plan of rescuing Sri Lanka for the fourth time in history. For over two months the country was free of Covid-19 due to the far sighted policy of the President. He gave all possible financial assistance for the needy and local entrepreneurs. He established the Covid-19 Healthcare and Social Security Fund to meet the needs of the people such as health care, etc. He bravely encouraged Sri Lankan agricultural heritage, crafts and other industries.

At present President Rajapaksa is on his fourth mission to save the country from the Covid-19 pandemic and the economic setback. He had to launch the fourth mission due to the irresponsible behaviour of a handful of selfish and deceitful Sri Lankans who took the global pandemic very lightly. The people of any country have a responsibility to contribute towards controlling this virus, following all health guidelines all the time which is still unfortunately not visible here.

The words, `defeat’, `failure’, `cannot’, are not in the vocabulary of the President. He will save Sri Lanka for the fourth time and there is no doubt about that. But it is our responsibility to protect our brave leader and the motherland from all enemies by being honest and working hard. Only then could we achieve the President’s National Program, Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour. The `Jana Saviya mentality’ will take us nowhere, but backward.

When the President commenced his second mission of saving the country in mid November, last year, he received an empty Treasury. But he was able to remove the huge burden of various taxes imposed on the innocent poor by the Yahapalana regime.

The Rs. 1,000 wage demanded by estate workers since a long time was granted to them. He commenced a special operation to curb the drug menace in the country. The operation traced law enforcement officials involved in the illicit drug business during the past several years.

We often saw on television how President Gotabaya Rajapaksa discusses with the Army Commander about requirements such as school playgrounds, roads and asked the Security Forces to solve these issues. Politicians in the former regime made maximum use of the opportunities they got to snatch public funds and handed over all types of `projects’ to their henchmen. The latter took ages to complete the projects.
But the entire country saw how President Rajapaksa got the heroic forces to assist in the development projects. He did not call on contractors who  snatched the poor people’s money as they did in the past several decades since Independence. Visiting people’s homes, inquiring about their problems and taking steps to solve them is a very rare sight in Sri Lanka after winning elections with a two-thirds majority. 

As soon as the President assumed office on November 16, last year, he went from village to village to see the hardships of the poor people in far off rural areas. He visited the villages and inquired from the villagers about their problems, and took prompt action to solve their problems.

He also visited many state institutions which did not deliver the required services to the public, and took action to rectify the processes. He gave nearly 200,000 jobs to the poor, including graduates. The Yahapalana regime did not give a single legitimate employment for the poor, while the graduates were chased away using outdated tear gas which was not used by the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, until 2015.

The latest step taken to protect the people is passing the two important amendments to the Medical Ordinance legalising the Minimum Standard of Medical Education. The President did not give into the racketeers but worked hard for 19 long years to pass the amendments which put a stop to those who failed at the G.C.E. Advanced Level science stream from becoming MBBS doctors. The racketeers earned billions of rupees and shared part of their profit with certain Yahapalana politicians until the two Amendments to the Medical Ordinance were passed in Parliament recently.

Sri Lanka’s seventh Executive President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is an old boy of Ananda College, the leading Buddhist boys’ school in Sri Lanka. He was the Defence Secretary in the former Government led by the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

He was born on June 20, 1949 in Palatuwa in the Matara district to a well known political family. He was the fifth in a family of nine. He received his primary and secondary education at Ananda Collage, Colombo. He is the first President of Sri Lanka to have been educated at Ananda College. President Rajapaksa’s father, D.A.Rajapaksa was not only a prominent politician but also an activist for independence during colonial rule.

The current President’s public service started at an early age with his decision to join the Sri Lanka Army in 1971. He became a Second Lieutenant in 1972, and served in the Gajaba Regiment upon its formation in 1983. He earned a Master’s Degree in Defence Studies at the University of Chennai in 1983. In 1989 he was appointed as Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion of the Gajaba Regiment and served till 1990.

During this time he attended the Advanced Infantry Officers’ Course in the United States Army Infantry School, Fort Bening, and was promoted to the rank of Lt.Col. upon his return. In 1991 he was appointed Deputy Commandant at the Sir John Kothalawala Defence Academy and subsequently as the Commanding Officer of the famed Gajaba Regiment.

After obtaining battlefront experience in some of the most hard fought battles, he was awarded the Rana Wickrama Padakkama (RWP) and Rana Sura Padakkama ( RSP) in 1991. He retired from the Sri Lanka army in 1992.

He had worked as a System Administrator at Loyola Law School in California, USA. He completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Information Technology at the University of Colombo in 1992 and was awarded Doctor of Letters (Honoris Causa) by the University of Colombo in 2009. In 2005 he was appointed Secretary to the Ministry of Defence where he played a main role in ending the war which lasted over three decades killing over 60,000 innocent civilians and over 26,000 members of the Security Forces.

In December 2006, he survived an LTTE assassination attempt at the Piththala Junction in Colombo 3 while he was on his way to a defence briefing at Temple Trees presided over by then President Mahinda Rajapaksa. In 2010, his official responsibilities were expanded to include both Defence and Urban Development.

He modernised the Colombo city and other main cities in Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan public can still witness his hard, creative and sustainable work such as the colonial race course area, the Dutch Hospital, Independence Arcade, walking tracks in and around Colombo, etc.

Whenever we cast our vote, we should check concrete evidence and not `stories’ told by Opposition politicians and published by the social media. It is the only way of protecting our precious motherland and walking forward with the Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour.