“I’m sorry Mr. Boucher, what can I do if our terrorists aren’t Islamic?” – President Mahinda Rajapaksa to US Asst. Secretary of State Richard Boucher, May 2007
The terrorist barbarities wrought on Friday the 13th November 2015 in Paris remind us of the Tiger terrorist slaughter of civilians in Naiaru, Kokilai, Anuradhapura, Maradana, Pettah, Dehiwela, the Central Bank, Kebitigollawa, Arantalawa, Kattankudy and innumerable border villages—massacres which were at least as large as those in Paris when we regard the respective sizes of our countries’ populations. For decades, the daily sound was of the sirens of ambulances and the wails of the bereaved, the scene was of hospitals under siege with the flood of the wounded and dying.
When he was elected President in 2005, Mahinda Rajapaksa took over a divided country, battered by suicide bombings, assassinations of leaders and overrunning of military camps; a state in retreat, a nation humiliated, a military unprepared and demoralized, a country in the coils of a seemingly endless war waged by a highly motivated and confident enemy with heavy artillery, a navy and a fledging air arm and a global support network.
When he left office a decade later ours was a country without war, liberated from terrorism, a reunified territory, a Sri Lankan state with its borders restored to their natural boundary the Indian Ocean, a fast-modernizing economy, and a landscape which showed no trace of a thirty year conflict.
A man or woman is judged by the scale and scope of the challenges he/she faces, the manner in which he/she faces them, the way in which those who came before him/her faced that challenge, and the relative performance of others in his/her own time and at other times, living in other places,facing the same type of challenge.
Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa is a Lion Whose Decade of Rule Represented the Virtues and Flaws of the Lions’ »