UPDATE: Sigh. Mahinda has not been that graceful in defeat beyond his initial statements. There are now reports that he tried to stage a coup rather than give up power and now he’s saying that he lost because of LTTE/minorities, which seems to be the same thing to him. All of this is dividing and damaging the country and making him look like, well, a sore loser.
It also makes me look like a dumbass for thanking him, but read on.
I woke up to find that Maithripala Sirisena has won the 2015 Presidential election. The incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa has
conceded gracefully and left Temple Trees. Before we get to Maithri’s 100 Days and congratulating him and his achcharu coalition, I must thank former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. I am truly grateful to him, as I’m sure are most Sri Lankans, for everything he has done for us and our future. My prayers are with him and his family, for their safety and well being. They must forever have a respected and honored place in our country and, if possible, in our hearts.
I am 32 years old. Mahinda Rajapaksa has shown me things I never thought possible. He ended a war that I thought would never end. He rebuilt Colombo and showed us physical development I never dreamed of. For all of his faults, he has won me over as a citizen. I think he has been a good President, in my opinion Sri Lanka’s best (low bar),
especially because he is the first President to lose an election and gracefully leave.
I have always been reluctant to call Mahinda a dictator because I never thought he was. As much as he messed with Parliament, with the Judiciary, he was always close with the people and he rose and fell by the vote. He was elected to power, he marshalled popular support to win the war and, in the end, he was brave enough to face election for a third time.
Most importantly, and something we’ve never seen from an incumbent, he was brave enough to gracefully lose.
He has truly been a great Sri Lankan leader and, though I voted for his opponent, I think he deserves something we haven’t really afforded our leaders in the past. A comfortable, honored and secure position as the respected and beloved ex-President of Sri Lanka.
I’m actually getting choked up. I’m so glad he lost because I do want a different kind of peacetime country than he can provide. I do, however, actually have a great affection and respect for the man. I won’t deny that I used to really dislike him, but I guess I’ve gotten used to his face. I will honestly miss him.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa was the leader Sri Lanka needed
and he was strong enough to realize when he wasn’t needed. My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family. May they forever be safe and respected in Sri Lanka. Jaya Wewa.
Mahinda In Retirement
Oh Mahinda, why couldn’t you just take the peoples respect and return it? For all of his public statements and show of leaving with dignity, he had this to say when he returned home to Medamulana:
Essentially, ‘I didn’t really lose, I won Hambantota and they won the North, East, Colombo and others, so who cares’. Well, you were running for President of the whole country and you did lose and you should care. I’d say this is a rather shameful statement from a former head of state, and one that promotes division with the country. Not a good start to your retirement Mahinda, hanging out your window and dividing the country.