Following is a translated extract of an article by Wasanthapriya Ramanayaka appeared in Lankadeepa on 04th. February 2011, the Independence Day
Sri Lanka's struggle for independence had never been as massive and deeply rooted as India. It has merely been an attempt to grab power from the British. The thirty year's long terrorism has been the biggest tragedy that country had to face due to an achievement of independence that lacks depth. It was president Rajapaksha who liberated the country from the terrorism. So it is the president Rajapaksha who has got a golden opportunity to offer the second independence to the country. No leader who came to power after the independence has been able to offer something impressive to the people neither has a leader been able to earn similar status. He wields constitutional and executive powers strong enough to pass any law to achieve that end. So the people are waiting until he takes this freed and the beloved land of them to a golden era.
Mahinda has just ended the war and has been able to give a peaceful atmosphere to the country. Only five years have passed to take place all these things. About three and half years had to be spent to end the 30 years' long war. At the same time Mahinda's administration did not neglect the development drive too. As a result of it a rate of 6% economic development has been achieved. The inflation rate, unemployment rate, poverty level are at 6%, 5.5% and 7.5% respectively. This has been an impressive combination of achievements that have never been reported in the post independence history. The Middle Eastern countries affected by popular uprising recently have never had this type of impressive achievements. The unemployment rate in Tunisia is at 14%. But Ben Ali's rule lasted for 30 years in Tunisia. Hosni Mubarak's ascend to power itself was a coup. The democracy and the electoral system in Egypt are in operation to the whims and fancies of Hosni Mubarak. So are the operations of the government institutions, the judiciary and all other bodies. Therefore, what has been happening in Egypt is the independent struggle by the people of that country. What is baffling in the minds of many is the fact that it took 30 long years to witness these turn of events in Mubarak's and Ali's countries
Comparing these sorts of autocratic rules to the Mahinda Rajapaksha's rule who was democratically elected twice within 5 years is not rational at all. The Opposition even doesn't seem to be patient enough to wait until right time comes.
Lee Kuan Yew, the father of the present Singapore ruled the country for 35 years. Jothy Basu had been the Chief Minister of Western Bengal for 20 years. Even Mahathir Mohamad was in power in Malaysia for 12 years. All of them were able to give prosperity to their respective countries. As a result of it Lee Kuan Yew and Mahathir Mohamad enjoy their retirement peacefully. They were straightforward when taking decisions and at the same time they were honest. During Lee Kuan 's regime even his relations had to languish in prisons for years due to corruption and misappropriations committed by them. None of them received mercy from Lee Kuan Yew. This underscores the fact that and the secret behind why Lee Kuan Yew remains in his retirement peacefully though he was in power for so long while Tunisia's Ben Ali leaves the country with his wealth deposited in foreign banks being freezed. So what is happening to Ben Ali in Tunisia and to Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and what will happen in Jordan in the near future has already happened to Marcos in Philippines, to Ershad in Bangladesh and to Batista in Cuba. World's history is replete with similar incidents.
Meanwhile, president Rajapaksha has just started his new journey having given the country the second independence. It is too early to jump into conclusions. Mahinda's regime is still in its Spring. He is at the peak of his popularity. However, the manner in which the media behaves can never be accepted. Some media acts just like stupid rural women whose only forte is gossip mongering. Personal attacks and rumors on sicknesses take precedence in web sites. These types of journalism and the violent reactions to them, which are akin to hooliganism, can never be accepted. Everything takes its own time. Failure on the part of the Opposition to practice patience is regrettable. It is politically healthier to the Opposition to smoke out those who are clinging to the positions rather than finding a Ben Ali and a Hosni Mubarak over here. Strong Opposition is good for the government as well as the country.