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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2582

Democracy Has Taken Root In the East, Same will Happen in the North Soon, President Rajapaksa Pays Glowing Tribute

Colombo, 19 March, (Asiantribune.com): President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday spoke glowingly of democracy taking roots in the East. He said that it reminded everyone of the manner Sri Lankan obtained universal franchise for the first time. The President reiterated that with the successful conclusion of the local polls in Batticaloa, the main focus was directed not only with regard to the Eastern polity but also to the international arena.Ms.Sivageetha Prabakaran alias Pathmini, who obtained the highest st number of votes in the polls.Ms.Sivageetha Prabakaran alias Pathmini, who obtained the highest st number of votes in the polls.

"The country could now demonstrate to the entire world that we are a Nation which respects democracy". President Rajapaksa made this observation addressing Members of Local Government bodies from Batticaloa, elected at the recent elections, at the Presidential Secretariat. He congratulated all elected Local Government members from Batticaloa on their becoming representatives of the people of Batticaloa.

Members of the nine Local Bodies took oaths yesterday at the Presidential Secretariat marking an important milestone in the country's electoral history. President said that terrorism has ended and democracy took over. The masses have now elected their own representatives. "Very soon we will be ready to grant the same rights, freedom and the franchise enjoyed by the Eastern population to the Northern populace too," President Rajapaksa asserted. Ms.Sivageetha Prabakaran alias Pathmini handing over her swearing in document to President Mahinda RajapakseMs.Sivageetha Prabakaran alias Pathmini handing over her swearing in document to President Mahinda Rajapakse

With the bestowal of development and democratic rights enjoyed by the people living in other parts of the country to the Eastern people, the Government could fulfill the pledges made to the masses during his Presidential election campaign, the President added. The President observed he was tolerating all criticisms and allegations leveled against the Government at a time democracy triumphed against terrorism. Newly sworn in Batticaloa Mayor Ms.Sivageetha Prabakaran  to address the gatheringNewly sworn in Batticaloa Mayor Ms.Sivageetha Prabakaran to address the gathering

"Without practicing patience we cannot function within a democratic framework," the President told the newly elected Members. He told the newly elected member that the people's mandate bestowed on them was a crucial responsibility.

Living under a democratic framework is quite different to an existence under the gun. Under democratic rule, it is incumbent to give ear to the people's problems while criticism should be borne with patience and equanimity. "You have to find solutions to their problems."

The President said the Government has now entrusted the grave responsibility of finding solutions to people's problems to the elected representatives from the East. Under terrorism it is the might of the gun that prevailed but under democracy it is justice that is the driving force. "That responsibility of ensuring justice is now in your hands," the President said. Elected members of the Batticaloa Municipality signing their affidavitsElected members of the Batticaloa Municipality signing their affidavits

The President also appealed to all representatives elected to the nine Local Bodies to rise above politics to proceed as one country and one nation.

President Rajapaksa handed over Rs. 2.5 million each towards the nine Local Bodies and a Rs.100, 000 grant for each member to purchase motor bicycles.

Agriculture and Agrarian Services Minister and SLFP General Secretary Maitripala Sirisena, Public Administration and Home Affairs Minister Karu Jayasuriya, Provincial Councils and Local Government Minister Janaka Bandara Tennekoon, Disaster Relief Minister Ameer Ali and Mayoress of the Batticaloa Municipal Council Prabhakaran Shivageetha also spoke.

- Asian Tribune -

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