It was a privilege to address the Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) as we Restart Sri Lanka. Post COVID19SL, the stagnant industry demands initiative from the Youth which I believe is not only the present & future solution to build a sustainable & resilient industry.
In the post COVID-19 world, digital and knowledge based economy has taken a lead role.
While maintaining social distancing and limiting outside gatherings will now be the new norm in the COVID-19 world, it is time Sri Lanka steps up to educate and train its citizens, especially the youth sector.
As you all know, last month as Sri Lanka opened its capital for economic activities after being shut for over 2 months, it was and still is a struggle for many businesses to resume normal services due to a blow to the local and global economy. As people overcome their financial losses and now adjust to new demands in the domestic and international market, the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing under the guidance of the Honorable Prime Minister’s Office lat month launched the ‘Restart Sri Lanka’ project to help businesses move forward in the post COVID world as well as offer them advice and guidance.
While this project has and is still changing the lives of many, the Education Ministry together with the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing have gone a step further by providing free scholarships worth Rs.70 million to over 9000 students under the Restart Sri Lanka initiative.
The scholarships will be handed over to students who obtained A9 results at the 2019 GCE O/Level examinations and this scholarship will enable students to obtain a professional certificate in marketing. The selection process will be transparent and there will be no political and undue interference in handing out the scholarships. It will be handed out to those deserving from any background.
Taking into consideration that we live in a post COVID-19 world, the entire course for the scholarship will be provided online with the sole objective of empowering our local youth with innovation, marketing and entrepreneurship to move further toward a knowledge based economy.
The world is soon leading towards an information age and technology is the driving force behind it. The SLPP government, under the strong leadership of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa will do everything possible to study the current trends and bring in new opportunities so that Sri Lanka will be a driving force in information technology and knowledge in the region.
Sri Lanka already enjoys a high literacy rate and our youth have the talent in competing and providing to global demands. It is time the government provides equal opportunity for all its citizens, from all parts of the country irrespective of their financial backgrounds and hunts out new talent who will take drive this country’s economy forward.
Sri Lanka has a long way to go in its journey but I can assure you we are now on the right path. Take care and stay safe.
Political victimization is a heavy word. It brings with it severe consequences for the victim, who mentally undergoes trauma and reflects negatively on the entire state and the government in power.
In my 10 year political career, I have always spoken against all forms of political victimization. Because my family and I have been victims to it too. Since the day I entered Parliament, 10 years ago, I have always been against all forms of violence whether it be caused by the police, state or any other party. I have always respected the will of the people and their right to protest in a peaceful manner, and if laws are broken then they must be dispersed in an equally disciplined way.
Today, I reiterate my comments, that political victimization and police violence is the downfall of any country. During the previous UNP government, I have been victim to it several times. From being dragged into the FCID, seeing my parents and brothers being questioned by the state over absurd allegations for hours and days, and then being remanded for protesting against unjust decisions taken by the former government. One may recall, that in January 2017, when we held a peaceful protest in Hambantota, police brutally assaulted one of the protestors Su Bandara, and he was later hospitalized with severe injuries to his ear. Further, hundreds of us were remanded unjustly for taking part in the protests and were violently manhandled. We were politically victimized for days in addition to what my family and I too had to go through as well.
Further, in the previous UNP government, students were also severely manhandled every time they took to the streets to raise issues and concerns faced by them. Hundreds of the students, including males and females were arrested and back then too, I did not hesitate to talk against violence unleashed by the police on protestors.
Now talking about the recent protest which took place outside the US Embassy in Colombo, by the Front Line Socialist Party members, I believe that while protestors should have respected the court order, the level of force unleashed by some members of the police force was appalling. I have condemned the assault unleashed on the protestors and call for it to be investigated and action to be taken as soon as possible. No violence must go unprobed. The police at no times, must resort to the American way of manhandling protestors. The way George Floyd suffered brutal torture, moments before his death by the American police officers, should never be repeated by any officer, anywhere in the world. In Sri Lanka, especially presently when the police have done a commendable job in the fight against the COVID-19, the behaviour of some police officers is truly condemned and the department should take steps to ensure that this never happens again. Violence is never the answer in dispersing any protest.
While the recent police action has received much condemnation, it is also the responsibility of every citizen in this country to abide by the laws of the country. While in a democracy, protesting is a citizen’s right, it should also not be misused especially at a time when the country is attempting to rise from a pandemic which has crippled all nations. When protests turn violent, it receives widespread media attention which goes into the world, and this damages the image of the country when we, in unity, are trying to rise from the ashes. While it is everyone’s right to protest, it is also upon us to respect the law of the land.
Further, in this day and age, it is also the responsibility of every politician and political party to not use the opinion of certain sections of society, take it out of context, to create disunity and disharmony in the country. I have seen in certain countries when politicians attempt to politicize certain issues for their selfish gains, and mislead the public, it leads to clashes on the streets which has a direct hit on the livelihoods of every citizen as well as cripple all vital sectors. This will then lead to authorities also reacting and things turning violent. In Sri Lanka we have witnessed many such clashes in the past which has then created a huge negative image of the country being portrayed across the globe.
With responsibility comes great power. This is a motto that every one should keep in mind. Violence can lead to ruin and this can have a lasting impact. I will always speak up against any police violence and political victimization in all its form, but at the same time I also appeal to all citizens to behave sensibly and abide by the laws of the land. Sri Lanka has emerged as one of the best countries to eliminate the COVID-19 virus from society, and this was possible because we all abided by the rules and regulations and remained united. This is an example of how much we can achieve together.
Lets make Sri Lanka great again, not push it back into a lawless state – the ripples of which will be felt by all. Take care.
Sri Lanka has witnessed a big political change since President Gotabaya Rajapaksa swept the Presidential Polls in November last year, putting an end to five years of instability and political turmoil.
It cannot be denied that the downward trend the former UNP government pushed us into caused extensive damage as the nation did not receive any foreign investments, unemployment was high and unjust taxes squeezed the rich and poor alike. All this, while the Bond Scam which was the largest scam in Sri Lanka’s political history was conveniently swept under the carpet. For the new SLPP government to now recover from the mismanagaments and weak leadership of the former government, is undeniably a task ahead.
Within months since President Rajapaksa and his government was sworn in, on March 2, by the powers vested on him, the President dissolved Parliament to go in for a Parliamentary Election. It is not rocket science to figure out that following the election of a President, a parliamentary election must be held to have a government in place and a new Parliament which will carry on for the next 5 years. However, in March, just merely a week after the Parliament was dissolved, the COVID-19 virus hit us, eventually causing the country to go into a lockdown, bringing a halt to all economic activities and livelihoods. For President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, the first thing was to go into action mode to prevent a catastrophic transmission of the virus spreading among the public. The world was facing a calamity with the virus spreading at a speed, no one could control. Eventually with the pandemic pushing us all into a lockdown and with the advise of the Health officials, the election was further postponed to June 20, keeping the safety of the public in mind.
In the meantime, the opposition, which is still caught up in bitter political bickering and infighting, used the COVID-19 to delay the elections as much as possible trying to prevent a humiliating defeat. Their antics continued and reached the doorstep of the Supreme Court with FR petitions were filed, which was quashed for having no basis.
In this whole fiasco, another important thing that emerged is the crucial question on the independence of the Elections Commission. In an unsurprising turn of events, member of the EC, Ratnajeevan Hoole, in a recent interview to a northern based media station, ranting his political vengeance attempted to mislead voters by saying ‘not to vote for cheats’, later going on to say that if the ‘hat fits, the SLPP should wear it’.
First of all, this is not the first time that Hoole has ranted his vengeance against the SLPP government. He made several attempts during the Presidential Elections and has made it obvious that his aim is to show hatred against the Rajapaksas and their party members. This has always led to a vital question, with such members appointed to independent commissions, how independent do these commissions then remain?
The downfall of any democracy is when Independent Commissions, which people trust, emerge into vicious political tools working on hidden agendas. And in this instance, the Elections Commission which is one of the leading Commissions in ensuring that democracy is upheld in this country.
Members of the Commission, most certainly can have their own political preferences and can vote for any party they wish, but it is only ethical that when it comes to maintaining the standards of the Commission, they must be independent in allowing the voter to exercise their right. When members stoop down to misleading voters by lying and cheating, just before an election, is the new low they can stoop to.
Despite Hoole’s various attempts to tarnish the image of the SLPP, he has forgotten the very basis the Elections Commission was formed – the voter comes first, the voter is all powerful, the voter has the final say and the voter should have the feedom to vote for a party of his/her choice. If Hoole thinks that by his rants, he can mislead the voter, then he is taking for granted that voters are not foolish and should never be underestimated. Better Hoole resigns and becomes a politician instead, rather than doing bitter politics, under the guise of an independent commissioner of one of the most important, democratic and independent institutions in the country.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa have always respected the independence of the Commissions. Because that is a must in any democratic country. Despite all the hurdles this country faces, the President and Prime Minister and the SLPP government will continue to maintain the independence of these commissions. How the commission members then function, is something we leave to them.
This country has a long way more to go. This government is committed to hold an election soon, have a strong stable government in place so that we can get back on the global map. Just as Sri Lanka adapted one of the best strategies in the world to beat the COVID-19, we call upon the public to have faith in the President, Prime Minister and the SLPP. No amount of lies and deceit by so called ‘independent members’ can make us disappoint the citizens of this nation.
50 years ago, on May 27, 1970, the journey of a political legend began. Sri Lanka’s political destiny changed when Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksa decided to follow his father’s footsteps by entering the political arena, representing the Hambantota district. He was aged only 24 years old, was elected to Parliament, as the youngest MP ever in Sri Lanka’s political history. He entered the political sphere with one aim, one vision – to serve the country, to sacrifice himself for his people, and bring the country up to its true potential. Since then his career has only been revolved around strengthening the local sectors and working for the public. He realized back then that Sri Lanka’s strategic geographic location in the Indian Ocean was a lifelong advantage for all its citizens and this country could prosper and transform into a gem, if led strongly.
Whilst being an MP, Mahinda Rajapaksa took oaths as an attorney at law in November 1977, at the age of 31. That same year although he lost his parliamentary seat while contesting from the SLFP, he made a strong comeback in 1989 after he was re-elected from the Hambantota district. During the gap between 1977 and 1989, Mahinda Rajapaksa worked according to the pulse of the masses, understanding their difficulties. He stood up for his people who were struggling during the second youth uprising in Sri Lanka. When he re-entered Parliament, he knew what this country had to do for its people.
In 1994, under the Chandrika Kumaratunga government, Mahinda Rajapaksa was appointed as the Minister of Labor – his first entry as a Minister on a subject which was very dear to him as he was a strong voice for the youth and the working class back then, realizing the difficulties they faced. During his term as the Minister, he introduced the ‘Labor Charter’ to protect the working class and uphold their rights as they were the backbone of the economy. He was a strong fighter for the rights of the working class and still is to this day. He also worked on expanding vocational training institutions across the country which was a significant achievement back then as he foresaw the challenges we were going to face in the future. Back then, before the world realized the importance of technical and vocational training, Mahinda Rajapaksa realized its importance. This however was not taken very seriously by the government back then and for him to work on this was a struggle.
Also, during his term as the Labor Minister, foreign employment was a weak sector here. It was a time when going for employment to Japan and Korea had just hit the markets, regionally. I remember, my father narrating his experiences of back then on how he went from house to house in Beliatta, convincing and encouraging people, to go to Japan and Korea for employment. Back then people here did not prefer going overseas for employment. They were always home oriented. However, after much convincing, many of those who went for foreign employment back then to these two countries, are today grateful to Mahinda Rajapaksa as they are well off businessmen now. At that time they blamed my father, lamenting, that while they expected jobs in the government, why were they being pushed by him to work in a foreign country. However today, their children have successfully taken over their fathers’ businesses and all are well settled. To this day, they visit my father, appreciating his struggle back then.
Then in 1977 after a cabinet reshuffle, Mahinda Rajapaksa was appointed as the Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, a subject which he did not have much experience in back then. But being the fighter that he is, he accepted the challenge as he knew the fisheries sector had immense potential and the politicians back then had failed this vital community.
The change of the ministries back then was interpreted as Mahinda Rajapaksa was sidelined by former President Kumaratunga. Many thought it was the end of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s political career as he did not represent the fishing community. But what people did not realize back then was that this ministry had immense potential and it was given to Mahinda Rajapaksa as it was one of the key ministries which he had to transform, just as he did with the Labor Ministry. He ended up being one of the best Fisheries Minister this country has witnessed.
Within months after he took over, Mahinda Rajapaksa begun expanding inland fishing and launched the ‘Divara Nivasa’ a housing scheme for fishermen. No other minister had thought of launching a housing project for the fishing community back then both for those living along the coastal belt and those living inland. Even today, when I visit these villages, they value the hard work and contribution Mahinda Rajapaksa did for this community stating he was a minister who understood the mindsets and struggles of the fishing communities. He also launched the vital ‘Sagara Vishwa Vidyalaya’ a project which was initially launched to educate the children of the fishing folk about the ocean and marine studies.
Most of the harbor constructions were also started under the helm of Mahinda Rajapaksa. For example, starting from the Kudawella harbor, it expanded to the southern belt and then into Negombo and Chilaw. This was launched under the fisheries harbor expansion project, which was one of the greatest projects launched in this country. Multi-day trawling also was transformed into a separate industry in Sri Lanka under Mahinda Rajapaksa as he worked towards its development. This created many jobs and changed the destiny of such fishermen.
Today Kudawella and many fishing hot spots have leading Small and Medium Entrepreneurs because of this industry alone all due to Mahinda Rajapaksa’s era. What my father did for the ports industry during his term as the minister, is still being seen and felt today. He knew then that ports could emerge as our strongest assets and worked on it accordingly. Every ministry, every sector he touched, he worked tirelessly and abiding to his vision. And today, we are reaping its benefits.
Another very memorable experience worth sharing from Mahinda Rajapaksa’s legacy is the “Pada Yatra” which he began up to Kataragama. In his experiences, he recollects how, during the late Ranasingha Premadasa’s administration the Yatra was to be halted from Wellawatta. However he scraped this through, with much difficulty and the youthful politician that he was back then, he led this historic “Pada Yatra” for the first time, to Kataragama to protest against the 1988-89 killings and the political unrest in the country.
My father shares a very close relationship with the Marijan family from Beruwala. It was during the time of the Holy month of Ramazan that the Pada Yatra was to pass Beruwala. This family, my father recollects cooked meals for all devotees who took part in this walk and this emerged into an issue as several Muslim families back then protested this family cooking meals during the fasting period. But after realizing this food was to be served for people taking part in the yatra, it symbolized a new unity between the Muslim and Buddhist communities in Beruwala, which lasts to this day.
Mahinda Rajapaksa’s political legacy has many stories to tell. In 2005, this politician who struggled and sacrificed endlessly for this country was elected as the President, during a time when the world’s most ruthless terrorist organization was active here, raging a full-fledged war.
His presidency was the toughest challenge as he entered with only one aim, to end the war, to end the bloodshed, to end the struggle, which no politician back then had been successful in doing. Within four years, Mahinda Rajapaksa led the nation into eliminating terrorism from our shores. The sacrifices he made was immense. I remember that May, in 2009, when the war had ended, he came back home with a tear. His tear was for those who had died in battle and the bombs. But then he I saw new courage in my father, to develop this country and raise it to its true potential.
This year, as my father completes his 50th year in politics, I too complete my 10 years in the political arena. I am yet to achieve even a fraction of what my father has achieved as my journey to work for this country has only begun. But I am confident to work for the citizens of this nation, as I try to follow my father’s footsteps.
I will not let the sacrifices my father made for this country to go in vain.
He afterall, changed the face of this nation and emerged as the true leader of Sri Lankan Citizens. I wish my father all the very best and many more years of dedication for his first love – Mother Sri Lanka.
Tuesday, 26th May of 2020, Sri Lanka’s Colombo and Gampaha districts opened up after authorities relaxed a curfew after a period of two months, signalling that the COVID-19 pandemic was well under control in the country but our vigilance should remain.
These past two months have been detrimental to many, as businesses remained shut, movements were restricted, families were separated, schools were closed and financially many became crippled, especially the daily wage workers.
However there was another issue, which did not hit the headlines as much as I expected, and that is the rise in mental health illness which saw a rise in Sri Lanka as people were confined inside their homes and their normal lives came to a standstill.
Through my experience in sports, I have realized that mental health illness can to a great extent be treated by doing sports and even yoga. Therefore, last week, when the Prime Minister met senior cricketers to discuss about the Diyagama International cricket stadium, I raised the issue that instead of utilizing millions of dollars for a new stadium, those funds instead should be utilized to develop the sports sector in all districts so that people including children can be encouraged to concentrate more on their physical fitness as this not only helps maintain the immune system but it also helps one stay fit and relieve stress.
The senior cricketers said they had a development plan for sports in Sri Lanka to which the Prime Minister immediately instructed the Sports Minister to study it and implement it in order to strengthen the sports sector, a sector which is also very dear to the Prime Minister as it encourages physical fitness.
In the post COVID world, it is now obvious that sports will play a very important part in our lives as being fit and maintaining a strong immune system will be a priority for all. Therefore, the government is also now looking at opening up parks, walk ways and gyms so that people can get back to practicing physical fitness, while maintaining all health guidelines set by the government. I am aware that new guidelines have been issued for gyms to begin operations and once those guidelines are adhered to, gyms can begin operations.
The COVID-19 pandemic changed the globe in ways unimaginable. I have always been dedicated to strengthening the sports sector and will now be dedicated further in strengthening all forms of sports in the country as it has now become a necessity that our children consider this as a priority.
I will also speak with officials on how yoga can be encouraged and further strengthened while we can also have more walkways and bicycle tracks constructed. Once our domestic economy is back on track, Sri Lanka can also look to attract international sporting events back into the country which will encourage more youth to train and participate at national levels.
In a post COVID world, our lifestyles have changed, it is now time we adapt to the ‘new normal life’. Stay safe everyone and follow the health guidelines.
50 years ago, on May 27, 1970, the journey of a political legend began. Entering Parliament as the youngest MP to join, Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksa, entered the political sphere back then with only one aim, one vision – to serve the country, to sacrifice himself for his people, and bring the country up to its true potential.
Mahinda Rajapaksa, today, completes his 50th year serving the nation, in dedication and true spirit. While his journey has been an emotional and memorable ride for him and us, as his children, my mother always says, it has all been worth it. To see mother Sri Lanka risen, to see her develop, to see her children strive and to free her from terrorism, are somethings he can now reflect back and be happy with, a feat no other political leader could achieve.
I must admit politics has always been a tough career. Especially while leading a nation. It can either transform you into a strong figure or it can break you in every way possible. The choices and decisions made when you are heading the chair reflect on an entire country, but Mahinda Rajapaksa, despite going through several obstacles, never ever gave up on this country. In 2005, when he was elected to the presidency, he came in promising to free the country from the clutches of terrorism. The killing, the bombs, the loss of innocent lives had shattered him enough. He was desperate for a change and within 4 years, under his leadership, he ended the war, eliminating one of the world’s most ruthless terrorist organizations.
Even then he did not rest. I remember that night when he was informed the war was over, he mentioned to his close confidantes, “our work has now only begun. Let us raise this country to its true potential now that the bombs are over. Let all my people live in peace.”
Mahinda Rajapaksa is one of the greatest political legends this country has seen. His vision is strong, is practical and his dedication is true and sincere. In his career, he has associated with many politicians closely. Today, as my father completes 50 years in politics, he is also joined by Hon. Vasudeva Nanayakkara and Hon. Athauda Seneviratne who also this year completes their 50 years in politics. He has also seen many a son duo combination in Parliament such as Tharaka Balasuriya, his father, and his grandfather, Shehan Semasingha, his father and even his grandfather. The years spent with these politicians within the parliamentary walls, making decisions, is truly a story to itself. Even though the dust keeps settling on the seats, my father still walks down the corridors of Parliament, remembering all these politicians who worked with him, those who worked against him, and those who learnt from him. His political experiences are a treasure to any politician.
Just as the other father duo this country has seen, I too this year complete 10 years in politics. I am what I am today is because of my legend. I can only hope and pray I can achieve even quarter of what he has achieved for this country.
I wish my father the very best in life. May he continue to lead this country for many years more to come. Now just as I shared some glimpses of my father’s journey, I invite you all to share your pictures and memories you’ll have of my father. You can either Tweet it or share it on Instagram or Facebook or even on my blog.
I can only pray that this day brings many happy memories to this political legend. Take care and stay safe everyone.
Today is a special day in my household. It is the day my parents celebrate their wedding anniversary, a day which marked the beginning of a beautiful lifetime together, and a day our journey began.
My parents have been an immense strength to my brothers and I, throughout our lives. They were with us through thick and thin and even though my father had immense political responsibilities, he always had time for his children while my mother was the strength that kept this family together.
I must admit my brothers and I were and always will be a handful to my parents. While my parents undertook a solemn pledge to serve the nation, they also had our responsibilities and today, we are who we are, young men, who can define from right to wrong, dedicated to serve this nation, is all because of them.
My father’s political career has not been easy. He came into a presidency when Sri Lanka was fighting a war against a brutal terrorist organization. The threat he had on his head was immense, especially since the LTTE’s aim was only to wipe out those powerful leaders from their path. My mother spent many sleepless nights back then,praying for the safety of my father and this nation but she always stood by him even during the worst times and supported him in all the decisions he made.
Then since 2015, after a change in government, things only got worse. In a bitter battle of political revenge, the former government did not spare my parents by hurdling false accusations on them of fraud and corruption which has to date only been speculation. It was hard to see my mother being called to the FCID for questioning but my father stood by her, like a solid pillar and their strength and their love for the country never shook despite the hurdles.
Today, as I see them both together on yet another wedding anniversary I want to wish nothing but the best to this couple. They are an inspiration to many and a story within them selves. Their sacrifices, their courage, their dedication, and their love is a lesson to be learnt. I am in awe and can only be grateful for having them by my side.
Together, my father and mother have and always will make a perfect team. A very happy wedding anniversary to them both. May they continue to have many more happy years together and serve the country with all their love and dedication.
Today marks one week since Sri Lanka resumed economic activities after being shut for 52 days following a COVID-19 outbreak which has left the globe shattered.
I am well aware that during the 52 days we remained closed, every single one of you has faced hardships and losses. Businesses have suffered, trading came to a halt, daily wage earners were the hardest hit and those employed were insecure if they would face job losses and pay cuts. All sectors were left bearing the brunt of this deadly virus.
But this pandemic was not bought upon by ourselves. Within months, the COVID-19 spread among countries, causing massive devastation, loss of lives, crippling economies and throwing major challenges at governments who are still trying to recover from the virus.
The virus, has today not spared even one country.
But in Sri Lanka, we faced the challenge differently. As you all know, once the first Chinese national was detected in January, the Sri Lankan government immediately got to work. A task force on COVID-19 prevention was formed with the participation of all experts and tri forces and since then, the virus was being monitored and studied closely.
However in March since the first local patient was detected, it was then a full out war for us. Today, three months after the first local patient was detected, Sri Lanka is proud to say that the virus has been limited within one cluster only and Sri Lanka never witnessed a community transmission.
Within three months, we have now resumed our economic activities while the threat of the virus has to a great extent been eliminated, despite Colombo being under a curfew. Now it is a road ahead to rebuild this country once again.
Just last week, the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing launched the ‘Restart Sri Lanka’ program, under the leadership of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to guide businesses towards success once again. With COVID-19 now being a major part of our lives, Sri Lankan businesses will now have to work around this threat but also use it to their advantage.
Already, we have seen how some businesses have begun exporting facial masks to global markets such as the USA, while there is now a demand for our ayurvedic products which helps boost the immune system. Further, Sri Lankan tea has also been in demand for a very long time and it can now be promoted to have health benefits to one’s system.
Post COVID-19 it is now obvious that the world has changed and demands have also changed in the global market. It is therefore time that we gear ourselves for this new post COVID-19 world and enter the global market to our advantage.
Further, it is now time that we, each one of us, thinks of first strengthening the domestic market and boost local production. A ‘made in Sri Lanka’ policy will not only make us self dependent but it will also limit our hardships if we are to face challenges in the future. It will also greatly add to our employment figures.
Keeping this in mind, in March I initiated the Home Garden Challenge, encouraging food growth within homes. Just within two months, the challenge has spread within friends, family, celebrities and citizens who I am yet to meet, all sending me pictures after having taken part in the challenge, many even with their children. This challenge is a small step towards a massive initiative which will very soon lead to food sustainability within the country.
Today, as I am a part of this ‘Restart Sri Lanka program, I do not want this to be limited within big time corporates only. I want to reach out to each and every one of you for your feedback on how you’ll can contribute towards restarting this country once again.
Therefore, I want to hear your ideas. Or you can even reach out to your area authorities or even politician and voice your opinions. I am always available to listen. You can contact me through my social media channels by dropping a message on my twitter, sending me a message on my inbox, reaching out to me via Facebook, instagram and even whatsapp.
11 years ago, on this very day, my father, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa was officially informed that the war was over and the LTTE were defeated. On May 19, 2009, he took a solemn pledge to restart this country and grow it to its true potential. Since then my father has never turned back and worked with utmost dedication to serve this nation.
Today, 11 years later, let us all unite once again, place our trust in Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and forge ahead.