19 September, 2019

Blog

I Have A Vision For My Country

By Gotabaya Rajapaksa

Gotabaya Rajapaksa

Venerable Maha Sangha and religious dignitaries, The 5th Executive President of Sri Lanka, HE Mahinda Rajapaksa, dear guests, members of Viyathmaga, Media Personnel, Representatives of National Organizations, all Sri Lankans residing in and out of Sri Lanka who are connected with us at this moment, my friends,

The objective of any government should be to develop a prosperous nation of productive citizens, living in a disciplined society with content families. As we meet again at the Viyathmaga third annual convention I wish to address how we could achieve this objective.

International Relations

Sri Lanka is a free, sovereign and an independent country. As our country is most strategically situated in the naval routes connecting the East and the West, we have once again become the focus of global powers. It is the primary duty of the government to understand the potential this presents and also the challenges that must be faced steadily whilst firmly safeguarding our sovereignty.

In the days when America and Russia were the super powers, the developed countries aligned with one or the other of these super powers. The countries that were still developing maintained a policy of non-alignment. Sri Lanka too was then a non-aligned country.

America is still a super power. However, China with its fast developing economy has become America’s biggest challenge.

According to Parag Khanna‘s “The Future is Asian”, “Today all of Asia’s empires and powers are seeking national revival. None will bow to others. The future Asian geopolitical order will thus be neither American nor Chinese led. Japan, South Korea, India, Russia, Indonesia, Australia, Iran and Saudi Arabia will never collectively come together under a hegemonic umbrella, nor unite into a single pole of power that is neither bandwaggoning with China or balancing against it.

“Instead, they are on a high alert against excessive US and Chinese influence in their affairs. Asians in particular, have realised that their intense economic integration and rising prosperity require geopolitical stability.”

It is the same with Sri Lanka. We must strive to maintain cordial relations with all countries without ever compromising our independence. Therefore we must once again establish a governance that does not juxtapose before any foreign power over diplomatic relations or international trade agreements. We need a government that will at all times safeguard our sovereignty, maintain international relations on equal footing with all, ensure our national pride and rule with dignity. We especially cannot allow our territory or natural resources to fall into the control of foreign hands.

We must foster relationships with Japan, India and Vietnam to build a strong and a connected economy.

National Security

A peaceful environment is essential for the development of that country. This makes the National Security of a country a very important element. In a country that is not at peace, investments – local or foreign – will not take place. People will lose their freedom to engage in livelihoods. The entire economy will thus get weakened. The democratic process itself will be severely affected. That is why assuring the security of a nation is of paramount importance and becomes the primary duty of a government.

I am committed to address national security not only as a defensive mechanism, but also to provide broader social, political and economic security to the people. Our country should be free from crime, drug trafficking, terrorist financing, money laundering and corruption. Our houses and streets must be safe places for children, women and the community at large. Businesses should be shielded from security threats.

The Government that was in power from 2005 to 2014 understood this primary duty to strengthen the National Security. The terrorism that existed for 30 years in this country was a grave problem for our people. We effectively resolved that issue in less than three years. Afterwards, we continued to strengthen National Security, which is why it took ten years for terrorism to raise its head again.

After the war, whilst building up on National Security we were especially concerned to secure the right of the people to live freely. During this post-war period, neither the police nor the military were engaged in any activity that would pose any harassment to the people. However, we fortified our intelligence networks. These intelligence networks were dedicated to safeguard the people.

Therefore, we must re-establish this secured environment that is at present compromised. To do so, we must reinstate the intelligence mechanism that was proactive until 2015. We must bring the intelligence operations of the tri-Forces and the Police under the responsibility of one head and thereby connect all these units together. This responsibility must be again handed over to capable officers. At the same time, we must introduce a legal framework that will provide these officers the protection from the kind of political interference that we saw in the recent past that severely affected the confidence of our intelligence officers. For our intelligence officers to be effective, it is very important to connect them with foreign intelligence services, provide them with both foreign and local training and equip them with modern technology.

Economy

Economic development is an essential component of a country. The solution to most problems in a country is its economic progression. However, it has to be a people centric development. I firmly believe that every citizen is entitled to a dignified life with economic stability and equal opportunities to progress.

GDP is not the only criteria in measuring development. Growth alone is not enough to deliver overall wellbeing of the people. In the 21st century, inclusive development has become a better measure of national progress. The recently devised Inclusive Development Index (IDI) takes into account not only economic size but also life expectancy, unemployment, median income, poverty level, inequality rates, household savings, carbon intensity and other factors. We need to be aware of these important factors.

We must also bear in mind that the centre of gravity of global economic development has shifted to Asia. If we look at the Asian region, from Turkey to China, the population is close to five billion. There is a large middle class in this region with high purchasing power. India alone has a 400 million strong middle class. China, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Malaysia are other large, populous countries with a rising middle class. This represents a marketplace of hundreds of millions of people. Asia will soon have more millionaires and billionaires than any other region. We should look at these Asian markets and find opportunities there, without always relying upon our traditional markets.

We must recognize that the Asian regions hold the future of market opportunities and encourage our entrepreneurs to find these markets. If we take Singapore for an example, 90 percent of its exports are to other countries in the Asian region and only 10 percent to the USA and Europe. Sri Lanka must also make maximum use of these opportunities that are within our region.

Knowledge

The 21st century is recognized as the knowledge centered era. In the future, every economic sector, whether it is agriculture, industries, or the service sector, would be dependent on technology. Due to various factors, we could not reap the benefits of the electronic and computer based development that countries like Japan and South Korea enjoyed after World War II. However, we must make sure that we do not also miss out on the opportunities that are arising from the knowledge-based and modern technological innovations that are the hallmark of the 21st century.

Future growth throughout the world will be led by innovations such as the Internet Of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Biotechnology, Big Data, Robotics, 3D Printing and other cutting edge technologies that are still in their infancy. We must strategically invest in such new technologies, infusing them into our education system and introducing them into each economic sphere.

I know that already in our country various enterprises and a large number of youth are already connected with modern technologies and are providing various services from which they are earning an impressive income. I recently met a young man of about 24 years. He is already a very successful entrepreneur providing information technology services to a number of western countries. I asked him what does a government need to do to create many more entrepreneurs like him and his simple answer was to teach English to the young generation and to provide high speed Internet facilities throughout the country.

This is exactly what other countries in the Asian region are doing. For example, China is laying down a fibre optic cable from Pakistan to the Phillippines, and setting up 5G network connectivity for hundreds of millions of people. Sri Lanka too will benefit greatly from 5G data links that will enable high speed broadband access throughout the country.

Most developing countries have realized this reality and are spending a large amount of money on technology centered investments. China, who has invested about USD 16 billion in Israel has established a Sino-Israeli Technology Innovation Fund to help new entrepreneurs. Technion that is in Tel-Aviv in Israel is a research university dedicated to Artificial Intelligence. The Chinese Ali Baba Group is investing USD 600 million in a tech city in the United Emirates for robotic technology based companies. Japan is also investing millions of dollars to take their already sophisticated industries to the next level of technology innovation. Almost every country in the Asian region are creating an interest on foreign investments. We too need both foreign and local investors’ support of this nature to tap into investments that will lead us to benefit from the 21st century developments.

Foreign Direct Investments across Asia is creating hundreds of thousands of jobs annually in electronics, information technology, automation, real estate and business services, adding value across the economy. This has attracted the global private equity industry to Asia, which has already surpassed Europe as the world’s second highest private equity destination after the United States.

However, what is important here are the policies we need to follow when accruing foreign investments. While strategically encouraging Foreign Direct Investment we must also safeguard our sovereignty, local entrepreneurs and businesses. We need an FDI policy that will attract investments which can transfer technologies and knowledge, and increase our productivity. We need to encourage investments into high tech industries such as Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Internet Of Things and Big Data, for otherwise it would take a long time if we were to develop our own expertise in these areas. By selectively bringing in foreign investments in such spheres, we will be able to leapfrog old technologies and adapt to new technological trends much faster. This will provide us what has been called by some economists, the “second mover advantage”.

Education

The greatest resource we have with us is our future generation. The development of this human resource is the primary responsibility of a government. To make our future generation productive citizens, we must pay special attention to nourish them with the required knowledge and cultivate their skills and talents. Instead of stranding them in the education field, we must broaden their opportunities to receive a higher education or a technical training.

In 2018 alone, about 280,000 students had failed their Ordinary Level and 99,000 had failed their Advanced Level exams. Universities had not been able to accommodate 170,000 even though they were qualified to receive a tertiary education. We cannot be happy with this situation. For a year, only 35,000 students can be accommodated into the 15 State universities and the five degree awarding non-State institutes. Even then, a majority are not following technical subjects.

If we are to face the 21 century that is centered on technology information, then we must make large investments in both our education system and its facilities. At the tertiary level, countries across South and South East Asia are trying to significantly increase university admissions – at times doubling, tripling or even quadrupling it. Sri Lanka should not fall behind this trend. We must establish the required infrastructural facilities for this purpose in a very short space of time. By utilizing the capacities of the State universities and other State higher education institutions efficiently the number of students admitted to tertiary education can be increased. We must also use modern technology to broaden the educational facilities. Distance learning must be promoted by establishing open universities where degree courses can be followed. In this manner students can easily accrue the knowledge and skills needed to engage in jobs such as information technology, management, service sector administration that are essential to the economy. Our closest neighbor, India is implementing this program very successfully.

India’s private education powerhouse NIIT has scaled onsite and online industry linked skills programmes to reach 500,000 students per year. Training is provided to them on demand, with tailored courses being offered to meet the needs of local and global companies. These companies range from oil rigs to tech parks, with curricular offerings expanding to service, insurance, supply chain management, programming and other sectors. Once students complete one assignment, they can return for others. This reflects NIIT’s motto: “the spirit of lifelong learning, without beginning, without end”. This industry linked education model is one that we should follow.

Furthermore, we need to raise the current diploma awarding institutes to degree courses. To do so, new curriculums need to be introduced with proper training given to the lecturers. In line with this thinking we are planning to advance the curriculums in teacher training and nursing schools to degree awarding levels. The inadequacy of degree qualified, well trained teachers is a lacunae that is already keenly felt in this field.

Today there is a great demand in the world for nurses. In Germany alone, there is a vacancy for about 200,000 nurses. A well trained and experienced nurse can easily earn more than Rs. 500,000 from most European countries. By advancing the current three-year diploma training our nurses receive to a four-year degree course and by providing them a proficiency in English, new opportunities can be created for them to work in foreign countries according to international standards. From a country’s perspective, providing skilled workers instead of unskilled labor for foreign employment is far better and more dignified, while also providing the country with an avenue to increase its foreign exchange.

To create employment opportunities for students who have completed their education to only either Ordinary or Advanced Level, we must establish technical and industrial colleges. This will uplift the moral of our young adults whilst providing a much needed skilled workforce to the economy.

We should also bear in mind that Education can also be a foreign exchange earner. Instead of sending Sri Lankan students abroad, we should find ways to attract foreign students to Sri Lanka. There are countries that have pursued such a strategy very successfully. For example, nearly 100,000 Chinese students are enrolled in schools across Australia, making education Australia’s third largest export. Malaysia has started following this model in recent years, and has more than 150,000 international students studying in its higher educational institutes. If we can make the necessary educational reforms, we too can attract foreign students.

We have already adopted a similar model at the Kotelawala Defence University. However, it is very important that we rapidly improve the standards of our other Universities to attract more students. All our State universities should strive to enhance their world rankings. Similarly, we should also encourage the private sector educational institutes in our country to gradually enhance their standards. They should introduce job specific educational programs.

It is important here is to understand the demand that exists for job specific qualifications in local and foreign market. Zoho University in India is following a very successful model. This program provides “coding boot camps” for students who had not completed their secondary education so that they can be eligible for programming jobs. This is a model that can be adopted in Sri Lanka too to provide job specific training.

Developing Industries

We must also understand that our opportunities are only confined to the technology field. One of the industries that we can easily develop is our tourism industry. This sector, that earned about USD 4.4 billion in 2018 has the space to grow to generate an income of at least USD 10 billion. To achieve this target, we need to attract seven million tourists. We need to thus double the hotel accommodation capacity as well as build hotels meeting with the highest standards. We would also have to increase the skilled and unskilled workforce to meet the sectors needed to service the tourism industry such as new shopping complexes, domestic flights and other transport facilities. We would also have to identify new services to provide an innovative experience to our tourists.

The construction industry is another key growth sector that has huge potential. The domestic construction industry has already proved engineering capabilities that are on par with international standards.

When planning for our future, an industry that is of vital importance is our agriculture. One third of our people live on agricultural based sectors. We have to uplift the standard of living of this sector. Right now, we earn USD 2.6 billion from our agricultural exports, out of which USD one billion is earned by our tea. When we have a vast array of spices, fruits, vegetables, pulses, fish and many more delectables we should be able to earn much more from our food industry. Even our tea sector, according to the experts in the tea industry, can be developed further to earn an export income of over USD five billion.

If we want to develop our agriculture industry, we need to do more research, and use modern technology. We need to bring in technological solutions such as drip irrigation, vertical agriculture, and organic food production, all of which can generate higher incomes. Instead of using high levels of fertilizer and pesticides, we have to encourage and train our farmers to engage in organic farming for better revenue. It is time for the government and the private sector to work hand in hand to transform our agriculture industry.

The first step should be to reach self sufficiency in product categories where we can minimize or avoid imports of food products. The next step is to turn our farmers into agricultural entrepreneurs, and encourage them to enter global markets and find niche markets where they can thrive. ASEAN exports of meat, fruit, tea and other agricultural goods to the Gulf States has doubled in less than a decade, contributing to their 130 billion dollars in annual trade. This is an opportunity for us to explore.

It is not only in agriculture but we need to focus on value addition in all economic spheres. Instead of exporting raw materials, we need to now promote branded products and goods. We already have success stories like Dilmah Tea in this regard. As the Government, we will need to support by giving direction, appropriate and facilitating marketing.

Environment

Environment is the national heritage that we would be passing to the future generations. As such, we are duty bound to protect our environment. We must be conscious to invest in sustainable development that would benefit the generations to come. Therefore, we must be very sensitive to the effects of the decisions we take today. I believe we must explore further into renewable energy that can be used in both the power sector and the transport industry. Even countries that produce the most amount of oil and gas have understood their responsibility to the environment.

Saudi Arabia has planned to initiate seven renewable energy projects in 2019 to attract total investment of USD 1.5 billion US. Saudi Arabia’s ambitious renewable energy plans seek to achieve over 25 gigawatts of wind and solar power generation in the next five years, and close to 60 gigawatts over the next decade. Kazakhstan, another country that produces Oil and Gas is investing about USD 1.2 billion over the next 5 years to generate renewable energy using solar, hydro, wind and biomass.

We must constantly create public awareness on the importance of the management of forest conservation, coast preservation, waste management, sound and energy management while also making these responsibilities part of the national policies. I am of the view that the Government should be the enabler for society to prosper and meet its aspirations. In this context, the regulatory environment should be streamlined, and government administration should be made efficient. The Government should regain its credibility by placing an internationally reputed national procurement system and procedures, a contract management system, and a transparent and accountable public expenditure management system. Undertaking such systemic reforms and institutional strengthening initiatives will enable the private sector, public sector, international lending agencies and investors to make credible and sustainable decisions on economic issues.

Democracy

Sri Lanka is a democratic country. We were the first country in the Asian continent to obtain universal suffrage. It is through universal suffrage we gain our sovereignty. To protect the sovereignty of the citizens, rule of law becomes vital. Therefore, we have before us the responsibilities such as reviewing the constitution, revamping laws that have got obsolete with time and changing the election laws to meet the needs of today. There can only be one law in a country and that law must be equal to all.

Strengthening Democracy

We need the support of domestic and foreign investors to accelerate the nation’s economic development. For this, we need to demonstrate that we have an independent judiciary and an efficient legal system. We should also have properly functioning dispute resolution mechanisms such as arbitration. The role of professionals, civil servants and technocrats in managing foreign relations, national security, law and order, state enterprises and government services will be explicitly recognized and strengthened.

To achieve this goal, attracting professionals to the public sector, and rebuilding confidence and trust in public servants and institutions, must be given priority. Government officials who discharge their duties in good faith and with utmost integrity should be given necessary protection through an improved legal framework. It is paramount to ensure that such a legal framework would prevent officials from being subject to politically motivated witch hunting.

Even in developed countries, clever administrators do not emerge at the same rate as lawmakers. They too spend much time arguing about law, instead of implementing policies. It is thus the responsibility of the politician to understand the need of the people and to include it in to national policies. Those policies must be enacted by the technocrats, who are actually officers with a comprehensive knowledge on the subject and are tasked with the responsibility of administrating that that sector.

We need to marry the virtues of democratic inclusiveness with the effectiveness of technocratic management. Democratic feedback is crucial for governments to ensure that they are on the right track. To strengthen democracy, politicians must be supported by technocrats.

In a country with a well functioning democracy, people are provided with the opportunity to express their opinion of their government through timely elections. After assuming power, the politicians must be mindful in administrative matters. They must get the support of clever administrators who are well versed in their subject area. Failure occurs every time partnership is neglected.

I am convinced that investment and development can be fast tracked if a credible and firm decision making machinery is established within a transparent governance framework. The country has already seen the benefits of such a frame work in many flagship investments in tourism, ports and transportation, urban housing development, waste management, and city beautification during the 2010 -2014 period. We can repeat that speed and effectiveness by picking the right team to deliver the promises of a new Government. I am positive that the private sector will also be determined to contribute its best to help achieving our common objectives.

I love my country, I am proud of my country and I have a vision for my country. I seek your support to achieve that vision. Let us work together to create a prosperous country for our future generations.

Thank you.

May the Noble Triple Gem Bless you all!

*The English version of the speech delivered by Gotabaya Rajapaksa at Viyathmaga Annual Convention 2019.

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Latest comments

  • 41
    15

    “I Have A Vision For My Country”
    WHICH one?
    USA?

    • 40
      10

      Gotabaya Rajapaksa

      “I Have A Vision For My Country”
      You are 70 now, you have an impaired vision.
      Time for you to have nap when you feel like and dream.

      However I too have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and hold you responsible for all war crimes, crimes against humanity, murders, corruption, looting, and kick you and your thieving murderous clan out of the island.

      I have a dream ………

      • 16
        7

        Nimal Fernando

        ……
        ….
        You may say I’m a dreamer
        But I’m not the only one
        I hope someday you’ll join us
        And the world will live as one

        Excerpts:
        John Lennon Lyrics “Imagine”

        • 7
          7

          So we are all waiting for Columbus, eh?

          Waiting for the ships to roll in?

          Ah Lankans! …… I just love them. …… Know them like my own people; only too well !

          Live in hope ……… even though, living in hope is what kills them all in the end!


          Seen a shooting star tonight

          Can’t see good no more ………my vision ….. blurred …… $ signs …………..

          • 2
            2

            When I, Gota, am elected, I will improve the Indian free ambulance service. For a start, all will be painted white. Dispatchers will be located near all major cemeteries. Please do feel free to call me before you write articles about MIGs or dogs.

        • 13
          6

          Singalong time?

          Drea-ea-ea-ea-eam, dream, dream, dream
          Drea-ea-ea-ea-eam, dream, dream, dream
          When I want you and all your votes
          When I want you and your support
          Whenever I want you, all I have to do is
          Drea-ea-ea-ea-eam, dream, dream, dream

        • 2
          1

          Native,

          “You may say I’m a dreamer”

          There’s a dream where the contents are visible
          Where the poetic teleprompter champions compose
          Will you breathe not a word of this secrecy — Van Morrison :))

        • 2
          4

          Imagine when Gota becomes President, he will be travelling to other countries. The Eelamists will turn on their TV and see him on the news. The man who killed Sun God at Nanthikadal walking on a red carpet. All those millions of £ wasted on white lawyers. All the time wasted blocking traffic in Toronto & London with smelly body odor aka “demonstration.”

      • 5
        8

        Dear Native ,

        Mate, I thought you had one in 2015 too.

        What happened?.

        • 8
          0

          Now he is dreaming of 1000 Dagebos, free food to Sunday schools, 50,000 to all and making every woman a millionaire.

          Soma

      • 11
        7

        Gota!
        Your vision is rather blurred and you cannot rely on it for long.

        • 4
          2

          Gota, you are the blind leading the blind. Who wrote the speech?. Such ambitions such dreams. Do you remember 10 years of MARA Governance. Inbebted country to Chinese and now we don’t know how to pay back. You are bad bad news. Your brothers nephews uncles will be back to ruin what little is left.

      • 17
        7

        Dear Gotabhaya, if you want to be a great man, you have to follow on the footsteps of King Asoka. He was a Hindu when he committed crimes with blood in his hands and greed for other peoples land in his heart. He destroyed countries, made women widows and children orphans and marched his way to expand his empire. All these brought him personal glory, but what brought him universal glory is what he did after the Kalinga war. He was converted a Buddhist and accepted the principle of Dhamma and became a Dharmasoka. After that he gave Kalinga back to its people and left. If not for him Buddhism would have been confined to a small section in India like Jainism, and would not have reached far and wide. Similarly you committed crimes against Tamils as a Buddhist. You killed several Tamils including those who expressed criticism against your atrocities and those who surrendered. There is blood in your hands, please wash them. There is hatred in your heart please eradicate them. Like how Asoka did, you convert to Hinduism, as Buddhism had failed to inculcate in your mind about principles of Ahimsa. You destroyed lands of Tamils, made several women widows and several children orphans, and you have the duty to rectify those misdeeds like what Asoka did. Give the lands of Tamils in one piece back to them, withdraw your troops like what Asoka did, and allow Tamils to manage their lands and livelihood by themselves. I am sure if you do these your name will be written in gold like that of King Asoka. Rise up and be a Dharmagota and not end your life as Duttagota.

        • 6
          11

          Go and fly a kite,you bigot’s are the one who killed the innocents, by suicide cadres(269 suicide attacks were carried out by Tamil terrorists against innocent civilians of Sri Lanka).Gota has liberated the civilians from the Tamil terrorists(largest of them are Tamils).

          We love Gota, and wish him for good health top lead the Sri Lankan nation.

          • 5
            1

            muhandiram – Keeping sniffing GOTLER’s ……. it’s awful but keeps you occupied!

        • 2
          1

          Dear Dr. Gnana Sankaralingam,

          Don’t forget the Tamil adage that goes like, ” Kedu Kudi Sol kelaa” (losing clan won’t listen) . MR had all opportunity to be proposed for “Nobel Prize” for peace, had he treated the Tamils fairly and reasonably after the demise of the Tamil Tigers. But he knowingly failed and started second round of vulgarities towards Muslims through BBS. And the result was 2015 defeat.

          Now the self declared champion of civil war and visionary wanted to raise his head by grabbing the ( sort of ceremonial) Presidency (still believing that the post is most powerful one) to start third round of rowdiness against Christians (Sinhalese and Tamils) and make ( all exclusive) Republic of Buddhist Sri Lanka.

          “He won’t be given second chance to give first impression”

      • 4
        3

        Native, you forgot Jaffna library, 1983 and 1989.

        Soma

        • 4
          5

          soman

          “Native, you forgot Jaffna library, 1983 and 1989.”

          Was Gota involved in Jaffna library 1981, and 1983 too?
          Its a news to me.

          We know he was heavily involved between 1987 and 1991 in clandestine search and destroy team along with Sarath Fonseka, Janaka Perera, …. .

          Thanks anyway.

    • 20
      4

      You are having visions. I am having nightmares.

    • 20
      4

      I’m having a nightmare: GOTLER is gradually taking over the country with the methodical precision of a fascist dictator. The white vans are being dusted out. Military killers hooded and dressed in all black coming to my doorstep in the dead of the night with duct tapes and gleaming pistols … … Oh, No … … Thank God … … It’s only a nightmare … … … … Then I hear a knock on the door.

    • 4
      2

      ABM, that’s not fair. That’s the question which came to my mind before scrolling down to read the comments. Never mind, there will be more opportunities for me before this lunatic is sent to ‘Boossa’.

    • 4
      1

      Superficially, this looks like a 180 degree turn from policies of previous MaRa/GoRa regime towards a continuation of what UNP has already stated in 2015! The only difference is the omission of explicit admittance of mistakes made during their brutal & prodigal rule. The obvious question is: Do the country need a criminal to continue what has been already implemented?

  • 27
    11

    Of course you always had a dream. White van dream. Museum dream. Many more dreams. We also have a dream of what you would do. What you have done. Mr. Clean City but posters all over, roads dug up all are just dreams for the modayas. Just hoodwink them and they will just swallow.

  • 34
    11

    Yes, he certainly has a great vision for the country and they are the following;
    •White vans
    •Sell Sri Lanka project to the Chinese
    •Receive huge bribes and transfer the funds to undisclosed personal accounts held under different names
    •Assassinate all political opponents
    •Transport puppies for his wife on National carrier

    What a lovely gift this country has been blessed with.

    • 4
      10

      Tamil mate,

      Is there anything left to sell?..

      • 15
        6

        Ado Sumanaya, yes I have a pair of Rajapaksa Bata slippers for sale for you to bend down and lick.

        Also what else is there in Lanka to sell, the bloody Rajapaksas sold the entire nation to China and a small part to India. Also they sold the murderers of 600 surrendered policemen to government ministerial portfolios. So you tell me, if there is anything else to sell!!!!

  • 35
    6

    this 10th grader dropout and joined the Army as there was no other descent job he can join at that time was doing this speech written by someone more creative and use of a TELEPROMPTER…. not a big deal….

    Rajapaksas are dumb village cheaters and masses need to understand not to elect these criminals back.

    • 1
      6

      Go Matildakka go.
      I whole-heartedly subscribe to your fury.
      But not so readily about the insinuation that village people are more gullible than the town-dwellers. Us folks are less disturbed by whatsoever the politicians say. We know what happens in Colombo makes a little difference to our lives – but still stay reassured from the simple ways we live that tomorrow is going to be ok. If you think we get cheated easily, you should here the stories we have about Kolamba minissu.

    • 0
      0

      @Matilda Ellepola, unfortunately there are more village mutts among the voter base as opposed to the educated class. So this uneducated thug may come to power. It will be a sad day if this goon ever gets to power.

  • 14
    31

    Brilliant speech.

    And even more brilliant was the very impressive line up of renowned businessmen , professionals and sportsmen gracing the Viyathmaga occasion and showing their solidarity with Gota

    The change we want for the better is definitely coming.

    • 8
      21

      What a speech?

      We are fortunate to have Gota as our future leader, even though a little too late.

      Jayantha Pathberiya – USA

      • 3
        2

        Please remain in the USA and never return like Gothic. He may feed you to his hungry sharks

    • 11
      7

      “very impressive line up of renowned businessmen”

      A rogues gallery! :))

      “Brilliant speech. “

      If speeches were all that mattered ……. by now Lanka would be the preeminent nation in the world!

      So reading out a speech written by some hired hack “impressed” a few Lankan bright-sparks, eh?

      Don’t have no time for speeches …….. only enough time for just 5 words.

      Lanka has hit rock bottom.

      There’s more truth in 5 words ………. than in an entire speech.

    • 2
      7

      Words,

      Dr Harsha , UNP PhD told Derana that their Candidate Keselwatta Kid is now neck and neck with Nandasena..

      And Dr Harsh is dead certain that the Swinging Vote will give the Kid a Land Slide.

      Wonder what happened to Uncle Karu and Dr Ranil’s bids?

    • 1
      3

      The line up of ‘renowned businessmen,professionals,sportsmen’ all fearing reprisal from Herr Gottler. Fear psychosis is the name of the game. Not capable of writing the speech. It was a lopsided ‘dream’. How will he repay the debts? Who will invest hear? His fellow citizens from Trump Land? Words Words Words.

    • 3
      1

      Words,
      GoRa’s preaching about democracy & freedom of speech is like a prostirute claiming to be a virgin!

  • 27
    9

    Yes, earlier also he had a vision to run away from Sri Lanka to save his life when the LTTE was powerful. He had a vision to claim mental distress and get released from the Army with pension. Then he had the vision to get US citizenship where the grass was greener. Then he had the vision to comeback as a tourist during his brother’s Presidential elections. He had the vision to get the Secretary of Defence position and dual citizenship only after the brother’s victory ( otherwise he would have had a vision to run back to USA). Then he had a vision to loot the country through the defence contracts. Also he had a vision to get all the credit of Fonseka’s hard work, and to put SF in jail. He had a vision to use all sorts of legal loop holes to avoid his court cases about murder, abduction, and financial frauds. The vision list can go on and on.

  • 22
    4

    If this speech with lofty ideals was delivered by someone else, other than Gota, it would have been taken seriously;
    But Gota?
    The evil that men do lives after them………Mark Anthony in Julius Caesar!

  • 3
    4

    You’ve tried the rest, now try the best!

  • 16
    4

    What about all the serious allegations against him and the court cases connected with those allegations? Does he not think that it is important to address those allegations and clear his name first before coming forward to contest as a presidential candidate? Or does he want presidential immunity so that all these cases will be withdrawn? How ingenious! Definitely not the approach of a man of principle.

  • 10
    4

    vision for my adopted country to destroy: as my family is American citizens, I can make merry with these lotus eaters.
    1.Murder- all and sundry who question me. can blame them as LTTE/JVP/ISIS
    2.Steal as much as possible- bank in Dubai ,with my billions
    3.Run the mercenary company again
    4.start a civil war

  • 9
    2

    ” I have a dream ” , was delivered by MLK, which was a turning point in American Civil Rights history. ” I have vision ” is from Mother Lanka,s war, King, aka, Gota, who may very well turn Lanka , into history. His speech reminds me of the recent cartoon where a politician claims he is honest and not corrupt, where a prostitute too claims she is honest and a virgin.

  • 6
    8

    President GR, never be discouraged by bogus allegations of the enemies of Sinhala-Buddhists.
    /
    Most important things you MUST DO at the office is stop sending SINHALA WOMEN to 7th century sadism practicing countries as house maids.

  • 7
    2

    Today, in a speech, shown on TV, Gota said a country needs controls. I mention 3 here because I am also under control these days, knowing who he is running as what. (1) Economic control, (2) law and order control and (3) noise control.
    .

    Thus with a stroke of a pen and two phrases he has put two sections of the community under control. No. 2 is for Tamils. and the (3) is for Muslims. Gota knows what he is doing and we know what he is going to do.

  • 3
    2

    Did the speaker address his vision to real people of SL or some future utopian city in Mars? Excuse me for asking this dumb question here.

    If his vision is for SL voters then he is basically saying that 90+% of his current voters would lose their jobs and they are on their own because they have no chance of being an active member of his utopian society.

    If someone tries a similar trick to convince an investor to invest his life savings on a utopian city project, then the end of the talk the investor would say something similar to: f.k the s.t about talking people and things not directly related to your involvement and tells me about your personal success story with your strength and weakness.

    • 2
      8

      errr….I agree somewhat. We don’t want to end up like India spending billions of the money belonging to the Masses and crash land on the Moon. But it’s the futuristic vision the people want to hear in the end. Yet the ground reality of employment for the masses in their traditional homeland is also there very solidly.

      • 2
        1

        Ramona, where is the ‘solid reality of employment’????? Sri Lanka does not need a rocket to crash land anywhere. We have done just that. Crashed to smithereens. Nobody can put us together again.

        • 0
          0

          Dilkie,

          It is said there very clearly as in the Technology field, Tourism, Construction, Agriculture, Avoidance of Unnecessary Imports. But I worry about the Saudi Arabian factor in it.

      • 1
        2

        Grandma,

        It is good you woke up at least now. But search in the Google what happened in Lankawe while you were fast asleep.

        What is Hiran Hettiarachchi is going to do, if your budget is going to be so tight?

        Did that Tamil Guy returned $300M he throw on the SuperSat?

        Do you know how many rockets of Japan and USA fell down before they had the Ravana sent to space?

        • 0
          0

          hmm….Japan & USA encouraged India to use the money of the starving masses to experiment on new space concepts.

  • 12
    4

    What an impressive dream for a man who underwent Open Heart Surgery a month ago, is not convalescing but campaigning. He is not only cheating everyone but he is trying to cheat death too.

    • 3
      1

      We need to see the surgical cut down the chest. Or was it non invasive keyhole surgery. Remember his pal Duminda Silva. No brain surgery but bullet lodged in brain. You can fool people most of the time but not all the time sir.

      • 1
        0

        On the contrary Kuveni, in Sri Lanka you can in fact fool all the people all of the time. A land like no other.

    • 1
      0

      gamini – Amongst many other Rajafucksha cronies MaRa, GoRa, BaRa and NaRa are in the departure lounge waiting for eternity (to hell).

  • 15
    3

    Thanks to the innovative technology of the “TELEPROMPTER” he was able to deliver that “Written” speech . If anyone cares to now interview him on the specifics of the contents of that narration on a face to face way, I am most certain that he will fail “Miserably”. He has a “VISION” no doubt and that is to “GET OUT” of all the corrupt and criminal cases that are pending in courts. Even his Lawyers in USA has openly said in specific terms and wanted the case filed by the daughter of Lasantha Wickramatunga to be set aside, as GOTA is going to be the President and enjoy “IMMUNITY”. Then there are MANY MORE organized into this “Viyathmaga” and many “Others” who are faced with cases in courts, waiting to get that same “IMMUNITY” once he becomes the”President”. Of course, GOTA and all his “COHORTS” (organized nto Viyathmaga , Eliya ) have a “VISION”; “MISSION” and a “DREAM” of acquiring that most needed “IMMUNITY” to get out of the lined up corruption and criminal cases against all of them. If not there is no life for them.

  • 2
    1

    This vision may have some merit only if it is presented with a compatible political strategy and a foreign policy in which strengthening ties with the Indian sub continent and in particular with India would be paramount. This would mean having open borders with India, building a bridge over Falk Straight and occupying the well accepted strategic position in a robust South Asian economic pact. This would also mean the readiness to open job markets between India and Sri Lanka in a mutually beneficial manner? Would his India bashing supporters will be able to accept this obvious precondition?

  • 7
    14

    Excellent speech! Awe inspiring and full of hope! Within constrains- Sovereignty the topmost.

  • 11
    4

    I have visions of white vans kidnapping those who criticize you , journalists being threatened, harassed, missing, or brutally murdered, all because they pointed out the Rajapaksa crimes, visions of the BBS thugs in saffron robes spreading hatred against Muslims and minorities around the country, and you doing sweet nothing to condemn these acts or protect the minority. Perhaps you might open another building for these thugs. I have visions of Sri Lankan airlines planes flown by family members to fly to nations far away to pick up dogs for you, visions of property being seized or bought forcibly by you and your family members,
    and these visions will become ‘NIGHTMARES” for the country.
    What devious plans have you hatched to brainwash the naive that you will be a good leader?

    • 1
      9

      Nelum. Your family a drug mafia gang family?

      • 4
        0

        You expect people to reply to someone called “Modaya”?
        Modaya’s make stupid comments.

        • 2
          0

          Actually not just a Modaya. A “pal modaya”.

  • 6
    4

    Gotabaya speaks of his vision for the country. He speaks of International relations, national security, economy, knowledge, education, developing industries, environment, democracy etc: -Not a single word about the problems faced by the minorities, that had been created by the successive Governments that came to power since 1956 and some sections of the majority communities.

    • 2
      7

      No. You not get separate state.
      Go to india and fight with tamilnadu people for a seperate country from india

    • 2
      0

      “Not a single word about the problems faced by the minorities…”

      Correct, Gotha should not waste his time with non-existent problems, but address the most productive sectors. As you said, these are “International relations, national security, economy, knowledge, education, developing industries, environment, democracy…” If the minorities want, they can participate in Gota’s initiatives, or they can keep writing poems about 1983 and 2009.

  • 6
    1

    I have a vision that this uneducated bugger will be hung by his balls for the crime committed by him and his brothers!

    • 5
      3

      Mike

      Why is Sarath Fonseka keeping a deafening silence on Gota the National Hangman?

      If not for the media, IC, People … focus Gota would have “urged” the judiciary to punish him with a dead penalty, without moratorium being lifted and he would have hung the lonely Field Marshall by his b***s and neck until he is dead.

  • 6
    2

    I did not care to read the speech because I know that it is FULL of bullshit. I am confused how a Retired Lt.Col from our Army who left to the USA like someone had commented, claimed mental strain and duress based on which he secured a green card could now be flying not Business Class but in a suite on Emirates. Did he earn so much of dollars whilst stacking goods in a supermarket which was his first job when he arrived in the USA.

    Gota got his green card in 2003 and came to our beloved country (NOT his) in 2005 to become the Secretary of Defense under his brother. Since then he has amassed so much of wealth to even feed his sharks in the tank at his home with 20 Kg of flesh everyday though he is supposed to be a vegetarian.

    Among those who were in the audience that day, I was shocked to see Aravinda De Silva, was he there because he is scared that Gota will become President and come after him one day if he did not attend. On the same not I was impressed with Lasith Malinga’s interview with a journalist where he tackled the questions posed to him very astutely and intelligently.

    Gota will never enjoy the Tamil and Muslim votes, hence he WI:LL never stand a chance to become our President. Mark my words he will end up with only about 35 to 40 % of the total votes at the Presidential Elections.

    • 1
      1

      Well said AshyD. Spot on.

  • 2
    1

    Most of the very same renowned business leaders who flocked the meeting that was held somewhere around early 2015 attended by MS-RW and facilitated by an Ex- CEO of a development bank could be seen at this meeting as well.
    They will receive the greatest shock after elections when they see Army, Airforce and Navy corporations running all type of businesses (Restaurants ,hotels, taxi service, land, air, water, health, landscaping , construction …..etc) with newly elected CEO GR and his Ex Military buddies filling the boards.

  • 7
    2

    An army fugitive has a vision for Sri Lanka. A mass murderer, white van abductor, Butcher of minorities including journalists, shark feeder, MIG dealer, Govt. proprty seller has a vision????
    May be, it’s a joke????????

  • 4
    0

    Gota’s Ghost writer slipped here. It should be read as ‘I have a vision for my two countries. That is my two cent worth contribution for his campaign.
    .

    1) Incidentally, I will not vote for Gota because he looks like an office peon.
    .

    2) Sajith OUT because of cast.
    .

    3) AKD: Out because he looks like a Native Veddah. And you know what Native Veddahs look like. If we wanted a NV as our President, surely Vannio Aththo would have filled the role adequately without any Kalaveddahs sorry – Native Veddahs – coming in to the scene.

    .

    That leaves only Ranil, who is Govigama Buddhist, Sinhala and despite all that a decent man. I don’t think there is any other politician in the whole world who would take such abuse and dismiss them all with a smile like Ranil. May be Dalai Lama or the Pope can do it but no politician other than Ranil can do it. He is my favorite this time.
    .

    Oh yeah, the main reason is that he is a UNPer. Rodrigos have always voted for UNP and I am not going to be an exception, come what may.
    .
    I feel that I have one more contestant to deal with. But that does not matter, because if he was important I would not have forgotten him.

    • 5
      3

      edwin rodrigo Necro

      “Sajith OUT because of cast.”

      Many Sinhala/Buddhist fascists assure us that caste consciousness bid adieu from Sinhalese community many moons ago.

      Now you are telling us Sajith stands no chance because of his caste despite his LSE UK education, US internship, familial claim, inheritance, …………….

      Are Sinhala/Buddhists still living in caste ridden medieval times? It appears free education, standardisation, Sinhala only language policy, Chapter II of the Constitution, …………… have not helped them either.

      • 2
        1

        Boss, I was talking about my own choice. I have no problem if others vote for their choice. That is democracy.
        .
        Just as Kalaveddahs find it difficult to come down from the branches, I cannot accept a low cast man as the President. May be as my own dirty linen handler. But definitely not as the President. My ancestors would be turning in their graves if I do that. Boss, you may urinate a thousand times in my ceiling and fornicate with 100 Ugudawis, but I cannot do it.
        .
        Even the work he claims he has done is common place. If I was given the money, I would have done it much better. I would have included hi tech things such as a (HAS) Home Automation System and a cooperative which all of the house owners would jointly build, own and operate, with heir solar and wind energy system. The young guys would be given training in the HAS system and the RE (renewable Energy) installation.

        .
        Looking at them, I don’t think the houses he built are Ugudu proof. Considering the growing population of Uguduwas, Hothambuwas, Kalaveddahs etc., this is an essential requirement.
        .

        He talks a lot. But does little on his own. He says he is honest. But it may be just talk. I know only one person who is 100% honest in such things : ME Edwin Rodrigo. With the savings and investments made with my 5 figure US $ salary, all as honest as gold, I don’t need to be stealing from the Putujjana.
        .

        Just give me the chance and see.

        .

        .

      • 0
        3

        Native Veddha,

        Please browse through the matrimonial section in any of the national newspapers this weekend. You will know how caste is the main criteria for brides and grooms to find their future partners. If you tell us that this is the 21st century you are indeed barking up the wrong tree.

        • 2
          2

          AshyD

          I do it on a regular basis.
          In fact I raise this issue 12 years ago in DBS Jeyaraj’s journals and continue to so whenever I get the opportunity to bash the Sinhala/Buddhist caste conscious fascists.

    • 0
      0

      “I don’t think there is any other politician in the whole world who would take such abuse and dismiss them all with a smile like Ranil.”

      Ranil was a Rhinoceros in his previous incarnation and some of its traits have been carried over.

  • 2
    1

    Gotha
    So Gotha let me take you on an eductaional tour.
    You say you LOVE your country and you have a VISION and want to achieve the following.
    1) The objective of any government should be to develop a prosperous nation of productive citizens, living in a disciplined society with content families. As we meet again at the Viyathmaga third annual convention I wish to address how we could achieve this objective.
    2) International Relations
    Sri Lanka is a free, sovereign and an independent country. As our country is most strategically situated in the naval routes connecting the East and the West, we have once again become the focus of global powers. It is the primary duty of the government to understand the potential this presents and also the challenges that must be faced steadily whilst firmly safeguarding our sovereignty.
    *** To achieve the above you need to become President and you need the following qualities.
    Honesty
    Intergrity
    Respect both at Home and Internationally
    You lack all of the above ( except “T” “C” “C” “T” ) but yet the Sihala Nation has chosen you to stand for president not to serve the country but to save you from Prosecution in the USA. But you have already admitted to Aiding & Abetting which is a Jailable Offence.
    You say you love your country but you abandoned your country and went to USA for 14 year “VANAVASM” You are now back still an American Citizen contrary to all your assertions and if you become president you will plunge the country into DARKNESS for the next 5 years.
    VISION: Means you aspire to do the above . Let me ask you if you are considered Pariah with an arrest warrant how are you going to achieve the above,
    International Relations which simply means only with India as you are Conjoined wth her from birth.

  • 1
    0

    I would have supported a native veddah but alas he is not circumcised. Perhaps you could correct this deficiency Edwin?

    • 0
      1

      In the case of Native Veddah, circumcision means cutting off the 1/2 inches making it nothing.

  • 3
    1

    Gota,
    Your vision is very well known. That is white van democracy. Illegal passport production and deals.

  • 1
    3

    Muthaiya Muralithirhan our Ace Spinner also has a great vision which seems to fit in to aTee with Nandasena’s Vision for Lankawe.–

    Murali’s Vision is 3 meals a day for his people so their post Nanthikadal children at least can be on a level playing ground with the rest..
    Murali went even further to say his people do not need any more democracy as they already have it in plenty.

    I am sure the great majority of the rest of the inhabitant population, bar the UNP , Diaspora. TNA, JVP and the NGO parties totally agree with you..

    • 2
      1

      KASmaalam K.A.Sumanasekera

      “Muthaiya Muralithirhan our Ace Spinner also has a great vision which seems to fit in to aTee with Nandasena’s Vision for Lankawe.”

      Has it got anything to do with bro Muttiah Sasidharan’s Ethanol case and the hefty fine of Rs. 15,000,000?

  • 1
    5

    Murali the maha perali wants his wine spirit import licence. He is a bloody moron and a chucker. Better he keeps his mouth shut.

    • 1
      0

      He is only ‘a chucker’ because he refused to join the Tiger diaspora. Better that you keep your mouth shut.

      • 1
        1

        Bawa

        He is only trying to fit in with noisy minority Sinhala/Buddhist converts.

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