Today (26) marks one year since the people of Sri Lanka voted President Rajapaksa to a second term of office. The Presidential election on 26 Jan 2010 was the first national election in the country since the defeat of the LTTE in May 2009.
It was during his first term of office that President Rajapaksa routed terrorism which plagued the country for nearly three decades, paralyzing development and the forward march of the country. Not only from the country itself, the President also earned accolades from the world for surmounting a number of uphill challenges the country confronted after gaining independence. However, this did not bring to an end the challenges the peoples’ leader encountered.
While safeguarding the economy which was being resuscitated in the face of the world economic crunch, He had to withstand the shadows of terrorism which haunted the entire world. He did not fear what was to be done. As such he decided to go before the people for a second term. It ws this challenge he confronted last January. President Rajapaksa who was first elected for a six-year term in November 2005, sought a fresh mandate from the people having completed four years of his term, and just more than six months after his government militarily defeated the LTTE. His rationale for seeking a fresh mandate before the end of his first term of office was because the Tamil population in the North & East of the county was prevented from voting in the November 2005 election, following an order by the LTTE to boycott the poll. The people gave him an owerwhelming majority of about1.8 million votes, routing the opposition candidate.
The people were highly impressed by the manner in which he stood up to western powers and international organizations that were seeking to prevent the final rout of the LTTE and its leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, through a ceasefire in the final stages of the battle against terror.
Since he was elected, President Rajapaksa has launched a massive development drive in the entire island especially the war-torn North to revive national economy, and entered a path for reconciliation. Today the people are reaping the dividends of their correct decision. While the development revolution was taking place not only in the urban areas, but also villages, sea waters started flowing into the Magampura Harbour. Massive power projects are progressing in Norochcholai and Kerawalapitiya. It is not very far when planes will start landing in Weerawila. It is the result of the mandate given by the people exactly one year ago that not only the North as well as the South had started reawakening with the building of flyovers and expressways, generating many jobs, but the country was becoming the “Asia’s Wonder” due to the farsighted veteran leadership.