Monthly Archives: April 2010
The president’s son Namal, 24, enters parliament as the youngest lawmaker in Sri Lanka’s history, a record currently held by Rajapakse senior, who was also 24 when he went to parliament in 1970.
Lakshman Namal Rajapaksa (born 10 April 1986) (known as Namal Rajapaksa) is a Sri Lankan politician. His is a current Member of Parliament for Hambantota District and he hails from a well known political family. His father Mahinda Rajapaksa is the current President of Sri Lanka and his grandfather D. A. Rajapaksa, was a prominent politician,Member of Parliament and Cabinet Minister of Agriculture and Land in Wijeyananda Dahanayake’s government.
My vision is one of general progress of humanity. It is vital that we aspire for a common national identity and embrace the best global integration can offer while galvanizing our cultural heritage. I strongly believe youth as an age category and youth as a spirit regardless of physical wear and tear is the catalyst for progress. -Namal Rajapaksa
Basil Rajapaksa A consummate planner and organizer
(Nation – By Ven. Walpola Piyananda, (Chief Sangha Nayaka of America)
When we study the life of the Buddha we see that the Buddha was no stranger to politics; he was raised to succeed his father, a powerful king. After he became the Buddha oftentimes his advice was sought and he abrogated disputes between kingdoms, counselled kings and princes, prevented wars, advised rulers and military leaders always tempering his advice with an eye to maintaining peace, stability, and well-being for everyone in the Dhammapada the Buddha emphasised that a leader “who is energetic, mindful and pure in conduct, discerning and self controlled, righteous and heedful over grows in success”.
Sri Lankan politics did not always have visionary leaders who were capable of planning for future generations. At the present time, however, we do have a visionary leader in the person of Basil Rajapaksa, Senior Advisor to the President and UPFA leader of the Gampaha District.
I have personally known most of the Rajapaksa family: wives, children, relations, and close associates for as long as I can remember. I have known Basil Rajapaksa for decades – as I have known his brother, the President; his brother, the Defence Secretary and his elder brother, the Minister of Ports and Airports. The family has been in the political arena for the past seventy years, beginning with Basil Rajapaksa’s father.
From my perspective, I feel that Basil Rajapaksa’s primary talent lies in his ability to plan and successfully implement those plans, two of the most critical characteristics for a great leader. For example, within just a few months of assuming the role as UPFA leader of the Gampaha District, Basil Rajapaksa already knows each and every village within the District: He has created a master plan for future development which includes a programme for expanding higher education and better health care to improve the lives of the people.
Basil Rajapaksa has proven that he has the ability to work with all the communities in Gampaha – the Buddhists, the Catholics, and the Muslims – and he has demonstrated this time and again in his many Government roles. He is able to get these disparate groups to work together cooperating to create a better future – as a model community for the rest of the country. After the terrorist war, his work for re-assimilating the North and Eastern Provinces into the Sri Lankan mainstream has already earned him praise from the UN and several NGO’s who were surprised that he could re-settle so many IDP’s and build so many bridges and roads in such a short time.
Speaking of building bridges, during President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s first term, Basil Rajapaksa was the one who managed to engineer a cross-over movement, which enabled the ruling party to successfully run the Government. It has always been Basil Rajapaksa who was able to bring opposing parties to the negotiating table whenever a deal or settlement needed to take place – in all areas of Government. Don’t forget that it was also Basil Rajapaksa who negotiated with the Indian Prime Minister when the Tamil Nadu Provincial government put pressure on Singh to make our president capitulate and stop the war.
Basil Rajapaksa has basically been in politics since he was a child. In his early twenties he was his brothers’ campaign manager in every election since they ran for MP; and for President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his campaigns for Prime Minister, and finally president – twice.
Basil Rajapaksa lived in Southern California for a number of years and I know first hand the extent of his devotion to Buddhism. He was always there when my Temple needed him: Never failing to participate in Temple events when they could. Mrs. Pushpa Rajapaksa, his wife is an attorney. She has always stood by his side and offered her professional advice whenever needed. Basil Rajapaksa is energetic, brilliant, disciplined, and well-educated. As long as I’ve known him he has always been improving his knowledge of world politics – sensing perhaps that his services would be required during crucial moments in the years ahead.
I give my wholehearted endorsement to Basil Rajapaksa in the upcoming parliamentary elections. He is a worthy, qualified man – one who can ably lead the country into its next phase of planned, sustainable development.
“The Sinhala and Hindu New Year is a festival celebrated by the majority of the Sinhalese and Hindus. It is a religious and cultural festival, where people of Sri Lanka celebrate the New Year irrespective of class, creed or community.
In April (the month of Bak) when the sun moves from the Meena Rashiya (House of Pisces) to the Mesha Rashiya (House of Aries) Sri Lankans begin celebrating their National New Year Aluth Avurudhu in Sinhala and Puththandu in Tamil. However, unlike the usual practice where the New Year begins at midnight, the National New Year begins at the time determined by the astrologers. Not only is the beginning of the New Year but the conclusion of the old year also specified by the astrologers. And unlike the customary ending and beginning of new year, there is a period of a few hours in between the conclusion of the Old Year and the commencement of the New Year, which is called the nona gathe (neutral period). During this time one is expected to keep off from all types of work and engage solely in religious activities.
Sri Lanka will rerun voting at 18 polling booths where last week’s parliamentary election was affected by violence, officials said yesterday.
The elections department cancelled voting at the booths in two electoral districts after allegations of intimidation and other violence. The final official results have yet to be declared because of the delay.
“The voting will be conducted on April 20 and those results will be announced on the same day so that the new parliament can meet on April 22 as previously scheduled,” a district official said.
President Mahinda Rajapakse’s ruling party has already crossed the halfway mark in the 225-member assembly to win a majority following the first legislative polls since the end of the war with Tamil Tiger rebels.
The UPFA secured 117 seats in Thursday’s vote with another 45 seats left to be declared. It is projected to bag another 24 to 28 seats when the final tally is announced.
Rajapaksa’s United People’s Freedom Alliance had won 120 seats out of 180 initially decided for the 225-member parliament, results released by the Department of Government Information showed. The next closest challenger had at least 47.
It takes 113 seats to have a majority and form the government.
“We may be short of 12 or 13 seats to get two-thirds but that will not be a challenge for us,” said UPFA spokesman and Transport Minister Dullas Alahaperuma. “There is no question about the victory.”
The problem with opposition parties, however, is that they remain split. More than 7,000 candidates contested in the parliamentary election.
Rajapaksa remains a hero among the country’s Sinhalese majority for leading last year’s victory over ethnic Tamil rebels, and many voters hope he can bring postwar development and reconciliation to the country after a quarter-century of civil conflict.
A two-thirds parliamentary majority would allow Rajapaksa’s party to change the constitution to allow a president to serve more than two terms. The opposition fears Rajapaksa will try to remain in power past the end of his second term in 2017.
The United National Front said it wanted to contest the elections alone. However, its head, former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, faces a leadership challenge and party disunity after a series of election losses.
Election monitors reported a low turnout Thursday, but the elections office said it can’t confirm the voting percentage until the final result is released.