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MahindaRajapaksa – The Statesman

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MahindaRajapaksa – The Statesman
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"Your President Mahinda Rajapaksa is a charismatic ruler. He’s a statesman".

The above statement was made by Mr. U. Prof. Amithsen Mukhergee, an eminent academic well-versed in political science, and a Sri Lankan expatriate living in Canada.

We believe that there are two main qualities that a Head of a State should possesses. Humanism is the foremost factor and the second is the ability to take correct, intelligent decisions in the management of political affairs. If the people of a country lead a contented and peaceful life due to the performance of a ruler with such sterling qualities, then he is a statesman with charisma. Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse hails from a family who challenged the pro-imperialist tradition of the elite. His father and his paternal uncle and first cousins figured prominently in national politics being the champions of the down trodden in the deep South.

Mahinda was born and bred in a Southern village. He was born in Palatuwa, in Matara. His childhood and adolescence were sent in Weeraketiya in Giruwapattu. His father the late Mr. D.A. Rajapakse was State Councellor and a member of Parliament and later a Minister. He was a true son of the soil, being a farmer himself. He engaged in gentlemanly politics.

Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse inherited the sterling qualities from his father, his paternal uncle and first cousin, whose roles inspired him and helped mould his character and broaden his vision. In short his path to success was illumined by the humanism of his mentors.

In his public life, Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa had to surmount many an obstacle. His father lost his property. When young Mahinda was shouldering the burdens of the family. After his father’s untimely demise, Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranayike invited him to be the SLFP organizer of the Beliatta electorte in 1967.

Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa won the Beliatta seat at the 1970 General Election. He was honoured in Parliament by being assigned to deliver the vote of thanks for the Throne Speech. During his parliamentary career, he joined the Law College and passed out as a lawyer.

The United Front Government collapsed in 1977. The UF won only 07 seats. Mahinda Rajapaksa too lost his seat. He was not discouraged. He continued his political career with renewed vigor. Opposition politicians were persecuted. The J.R. regime avenged itself on Mahinda for chasing away the ‘thug army’ sent from Colombo during the Mulkirigala by-election in 1983 by remanding him on a cooked up charge.

While Mahinda was languishing in jail, his beloved mother fell ill due to pain of mind and died of sorrow.. Mahinda was brought to his mother’s funeral, from jail. Such incidents emboldened him and strengthened him emotionally.

Mahinda Rajapaksa was acquitted by the Courts because the false accusations against him could not be proved.

At the 1989 general election Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa was elected from the Hambantota district gaining the highest majority. But the UNP formed the government.

In the reign of terror (1987 – 1990) thousands of youth in the South were mercilessly massacred. While many opposition politicians were silent, in fear of the J.R. and Premadasa administration, it was none other than Mahinda Rajapakse who agitated against the bloodbath in and outside Parliament. Moreover, he informed the International Human Rights Commission in Geneva about the summary executions and torture chambers. Because of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s bold action the international community was aware of the violations of human rights in Sri Lanka.

The passivity of the SLFP during 1977-89 era, was a godsend to the UNP which won election. But SLFP leaders did not try to find out the causes for the defeats. But the backbencher of the Opposition. Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa made valiant attempts to awaken the SLFP from its deep slumber, by personally organizing the "Pada Yatra" , "Jana Gosha" and other protest campaigns. His far-sighted political knowledge pushed the major opposition political parties to form an alliance. While the combined opposition began to move forward, political "parachutists" grabbed the Deputy leadership of the SLFP. But Mahinda Rajapaksa was not discouraged.


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