rally in Matale, from the United National Party
As a note, this political business has already gotten very messy. I’m all for Mahinda supporters commenting here, but it’s odd that the level of response tends to hover around calling people pedophiles, or unpatriotic, or attacking Catholics, or Sri Lankan minorities. I like to think there’s another side to the Mahinda campaign, but all I’m seeing is the ugly one.
Surely there are supporters of the other side that can offer arguments that rise beyond race/religion baiting and the politics or personal destruction? There has to be some content to the Mahinda/JVP campaign that they don’t have to rely entirely on fear and innuendo. Like, how would Mahinda make the country better, and include all religions and races? That’s an answer I’d like to hear, but all I’m getting here are weird attempts at character assassination. Anyways, here’s an article. Let’s await the dirt comments. Ten bucks says you’ll hear a pedophilia accusation in 3,2,1… I’d give 100 to hear an actual argument.
Who will unify Sri Lanka? With all the filth and fury that surrounds this question, it is easy to forget one shining fact. Ranil Wickremesinghe has unified Sri Lanka. He made the LTTE abandon their demands for a seperate state (September 2002, November 2002). He achieved peace within the framework of a united Sri Lanka. In the face of these victories, Mahinda and the JVP can only spew filth and fury. Mahinda has no achievements as Prime Minister, and the JVP has a history of terrorism and violence. Ranil, however, has humbled the LTTE and united Sri Lanka. North and South, UNP and SLFP, Ranil has united the nation towards peace. Now he just needs time to finish.
It is the tragedy of Sri Lanka that people recall recent history so badly and remember the ancient past so well. Those who remember that six weak kings named Mahinda who ruled this land so ineffectively cannot remember the roads that were closed, starting from the bloodsoaked A9 on which so many innocent soldiers were sacrificed by a government to which Mahinda the Seventh belonged. Here are some real actions Ranil Wickremesinghe has taken to forge a peaceful and united Sri Lanka.
* Feb 2002 : Ranil signs cease-fire agreement
* March 2002: Monitoring Mission arrives
o Decommissioning of arms begins
o Ranil visits Jaffna, first visit by a PM in 20+ years
o Government opens 2 ports in Jaffna for international shipping
* April 2002: Govt lifts 6 year bans on domestic flights to Jaffna
o Govt opens Kandy-Jaffna road after 12 years
* May 2002: First face-to-face talks between GOSL and LTTE in 7 years
* September 2002: LTTE abandons demand for seperate state (Thailand talks)
o LTTE and GOSL exchange prisoners of war
* November 2002: Wickremesinghe meets Balasingham, highest meeting in 12 years
o Prabhakaran says that the LTTE is ready to drop its demand for independence
In that one year Ranil brought Sri Lanka so far. Can you imagine what he could do in six? Can you imagine a Sri Lanka where we can travel freely, from coast to splendid coast? Where law and order prevail in the North and East? Where the dividends of peace flow to all citizens? Where tsunami aid reaches all those in need? Ranil has breathed life into those dreams, and given time he can make them real. He has the imagination and the experience to back up vision with action. We know because he has done it before.
Mahinda, however, has no imagination and no achievements. He has no vision of his own, so he lets the mad dogs of the JVP and JHU run wild, barking and baying for blood. Recently the JHU printed a hysterical advertisement denouncing most of Sri Lanka’s minority leaders as factional traitors. Is this truly the alliance that can unify the country? Recent polling data (see map) shows Mahinda down by 96 percentage points in Vavuniya and 70 percentage points in Nuwara Eliya. Will those Sri Lankans ever follow him as President? By contrast, Ranil has a wide base of support throughout the entire nation.
I hope that people are not blind. Mahinda offers hatred and fear cloaked in a toothy grin and dyed moustache. His people offer little more than character assasination and race and religion baiting, and precious few results or even argument. Ranil offers peace and prosperity, backed by the grey wisdom of experience. Ranil Wickremesinghe signed the cease-fire ending two decades of war. Ranil Wickremesinghe became the first Sri Lankan Prime Minister to set foot in Jaffna after 20 years. Ranil Wickremesinghe opened the A9 road to Jaffna. Ranil Wickremesinghe opened the ports and air. Ranil Wickremesinghe ended the terrorist attacks and checkpoints. Most importantly, Ranil accomplished all of this within the framework of a unified Sri Lanka. Of all those who have gone to battle, he fought the LTTE and won the unity of our nation. Of all those who have promised peace and unity, he has delivered. In 2002, he began the hard work of building a united Sri Lanka. If you travel this diverse land you will see the benefits in front of your eyes. You can travel, and the checkpoints are gone. You can work, live and prosper in peace. In 2005, Sri Lanka has the chance to allow Ranil Wickremesinghe finish that work. Our children have the chance to reap the benefits for years to come. The SLFP/JVP/JHU speak only division, and their only deliverable is personal power. Ranil has vision and he has delivered. A United Sri Lanka, free of war.