Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Editor-in-Charge of English Version, PRAVDA.Ru, Moscow
Dear Madam, I am enclosing herewith, a copy of my lengthy Email Felicitation message to His Excellency the President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, on the auspicious occasion of the 12th Anniversary of the Declaration on the State Sovereignty of the Russian Soviet Federal Socialist Republic (RSFSR), which falls on12th June 2002, for your reading pleasure. His Excellency the President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin is a rising star in Russian politics as well as in the Eurasian political arena, and a prominent political figure. The 49-year leader of Russia is to some extent a rigid, decisive, and practical person, charismatic and insistent leader, acknowledged by other countries of the International community. Under his leadership, the Russian Federation has attained great achievements in stabilizing the country and in promoting co-operation with the neighbours and the international community. It is very welcome the fact that Russian government will keep being led by His Excellency Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. Dear Madam, Since the disintegration of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in December 1991, Russia has achieved many successes, but there are many unfinished tasks ahead of you. Together all the Russians should strive to make their beloved Fatherland a prosperous nation, free from poverty, hunger, disease and illiteracy. Above all, you all have to remain ever vigilant against threats to your country’s unity and integrity. I should also like to seize this opportunity to express that I very much like to seek the continuation of His Excellency the President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin's awesome job and arduous duties on some of the urgent needs of your country, being : modernizing your military ; improving their morale ; erasing the bandits and terrorists from the face of the earth ; getting rid of corruption once for all ; taking care of the poor and making them self-sufficient ; improving the economy by helping every adult citizen to obtain a livelihood that is oriented not just toward export industries but towards domestic consumption as well. Keeping in view the friendly relations between our two countries, I am confident that the present goodwill and co-operation that characterise the relations between Russia and Sri Lanka will grow from strengthen to strengthen in times ahead. It is a matter of immense satisfaction that Russia and Sri Lanka enjoy cordial relations. I am confident that the relations between our two countries would be augmented in the years ahead. May God give your and all the respectable officials at PRAVDA.Ru in Moscow, sustained good health, long life and every success in future activities and endeavours ! I remain, With Warmest Personal Regards, Yours Most Respectfully,
G. A. K. Nalin De Silva 441, Galle Road, Colombo-06, Sri Lanka.
His Excellency Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, President of the Russian Federation, Office of the President, The Kremlin, Moscow 103073, Russia. Your Excellency,
On the happy and auspicious occasion of the 12th Anniversary of the Declaration on the State Sovereignty of the Russian Soviet Federal Socialist Republic (RSFSR), 12th June 2002, it gives me great pleasure to extend to you Most Sincere Congratulations and Warm Good Wishes for good health, happiness and every success in your continued mission, activities and endeavours as well as peace, prosperity and well being to the friendly Russian people. Availing myself of this pleasant opportunity, I wish you also, Esteemed Mr. President, the best in hard work of leading Russia further towards the great future, and I believe that this time is very close. I think Your Excellency is doing all your best for Russia, and for it's future ! I personally feel that you are the best that ever could happen to Russia. I do not know much about your country as I have yet to visit there, but from what I hear and what I read in the papers daily is good enough for me to say that you are brave, steadfast, courage and is always one step ahead of your political foes. May God shed light in these many years that lay before you !! May God bless you and give you the wisdom to rule your country !!!
May God give Your Excellency strength and shower his blessings upon Your Excellency to carry out your duties to the acceptance of the people of your country !!!! May God guide and bless all those who are ready to contribute positively to the development of your Dear Fatherland, Russia !!!!! On this momentous day, Let me also take this opportunity to extend My Very Best Wishes for good health, happiness, peace and prosperity to His Excellency the Prime Minister Mikhail Mikhaylovich Kasyanov, Their Excellencies the Deputy Prime Ministers Aleksey Vasilyevich Gordeev, Viktor Borisovich Khristenko, Aleksey Leonidovich Kudrin and Valentina Ivanovna Matviyenko, Esteemed Excellencies; Sergey Borisovich Ivanov, Boris Viacheslavovich Gryzlov, Nikolay Platonovich Patrushev, Sergey Nikolayevich Lebedev, Vladimir Borisovich Rushaylo, Aleksandr Yuryevich Rumyantsev, Sergey Kuzhugetovich Shoygu, Yuriy Yakovlevich Chayka, German Oskarovich Gref, Sergey Mikhailovich Ignatiev, Gennadiy Ivanovich Bukayev, Ilya Arturovich Yuzhanov, Ilya Iosifovich Klebanov, Igor Khanukovich Yusufov, Vitaliy Grigoryevich Artyukhov, Vladimir Yuryevich Zorin, Mikhail Yefimovich Shvydkoy, Igor Sergeyevich Ivanov, Aleksandr Petrovich Pochinok, Vladimir Mikhaylovich Filippov, Farit Rafikovich Gazizullin, Yuriy Leonidovich Shevchenko, Mikhail Yuryevich Lesin, Leonid Dododzhonovich Reyman, Sergey Ottovich Frank, Gennadiy Matveyevich Fadeyev, Vladimir Vasilyevich Yelagin, and other respectable Officials of the Government. May the Russian government and people continue to achieve new successes in the cause of defending national independence, upholding national unity and building their own country !!!!!! “Distinguished citizens of Russia ! We believe in our strength. We believe that we can truly transform and change our country. We have common goals: we want our Russia to be a free, prosperous, wealthy, strong and civilized land, a land in which its citizens take pride and which commands respect in the world” - President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin delivering the Inauguration Speech on 07th May 2000 Your Excellency, Most of the Russian people agree with most of your policies and think that the country is on the right track economically. The prosperity of your Fatherland is very important to all the people of Russia, and from this point of view, I back all Your Excellency’s efforts to make Russia as powerful as it can be. Dear Mr. President, keep up the good work so that the friendly people of Russia could have the drive to help your Fatherland each in his own way. All the people of Russia are proud of your excellent job at the helm of state in Russia, and they are sure Russia would get better while it keeps on your ands. I join all those who wish you and your government well and congratulate you on your achievements. The world stands in admiration of your achievements, and this should encourage you in your path of deepening and consolidating democracy under a regime of respect for human rights and the rule of law. “The road to free society was not simple or easy. There were both dark and bright pages in our history. The building of a democratic state is far from complete. But a great deal has already been done. We must cherish what has been achieved and preserve and advance democracy. We must make sure that the government chosen by the people works in the interests of the people and protects the Russian citizen everywhere, both in our country and abroad, and serves the public. This is a position of principle, and a tough one. I have been standing up for it and shall do so in the future” - President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin delivering the Inauguration Speech on 07th May 2000 Your Excellency's appointment as the President of the Russian Federation on 31st December 1999 and re-appointment on 07th May 2000 for a four year term, is indeed a clear manifestation of the immense confidence that the Russian people have re-reposed in your dynamic leadership to guide their destiny towards the new millennium. The resounding victory with a enormous majority in the 26th March 2000 Presidential Elections following the overwhelming mandate given by the great people of Russia to you, is unparalleled in your country’s history, reflecting their unequivocal endorsement of your policies and achievements of dedicated and dynamic stewardship you forwarded through your 15-year career with the KGB’s foreign intelligence arm, stationed in Leningrad and East Germany, and your remarkable political career as a prominent political figure spanning many years involving in political activities in the country, serving as an adviser and the Head of External Relations to St. Petersburg’s first reformist mayor, the Honourable Anatoly Sobchak, that paved the way for Your Excellency to attract foreign investments to the city economy, to establish and maintain cooperation with foreign partners and to oversee the creation and opening of joint ventures during 1991-1994, and then serving as Deputy Mayor from March 1994, thereafter as the Presidential First Deputy Chief of Staff in charge of Russian regions and territories in Kremlin from May 1978. The Russian people welcomed Your Excellency to the political arena as a decent, tough and energetic man who was out of public politics due to the specifics of your profession. Over the past period, under Your Excellency’s inspiring leadership and good governance, the Russian people have accomplished fresh achievement in the economic development and maintenance of the national unification, for which we would like to express our appreciation. May the Russian people obtain many greater achievements in the cause of constructing and developing a prosperous country and a happy life !!!!!!! The national vision that drove and sustained Your Excellency, was to take a united and harmonious Russia further into the rank of the developed nations. Your Excellency knew better than most just how difficult that process was but Your Excellency was convinced it could be done. The International community know, however, that His Excellency Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin will never stop believing in this nation and its people. “With Your Excellency’s considerable personal courage and inspiring guidance after becoming President of the Russian Federation, the basis of national sovereignty and civil society has been further strengthened, as well as priorities for stable development and prosperity of a united and harmonious Russia in the new millennium” - Email sender Your Excellency’s re-election as the President of the Russian Federation on 26th March 2000 Presidential Elections with a very clear mandate also bear ample testimony to the Russian people’s continuing confidence in your stewardship and vision for the future. The service you also rendered as the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation between August 1999 and December 1999 was very valuable to the country. The Russian people accepted Your Excellency as an honest man capable of uniting the diverse segments of Russian society. With Your Excellency’s considerable personal courage and inspiring guidance after becoming President of the Russian Federation, the basis of national sovereignty and civil society has been further strengthened, as well as priorities for stable development and prosperity of a united and harmonious Russia in the new millennium. I think Russia is one of the greatest countries in the world. I have a good feeling that Your Excellency will be an excellent President. Since Your Excellency took office, you and your government have revitalised the Russian economy and been emphasizing the development of the private sector, especially the encouragement of investment, and is committing increased funds for health and education. Russia has also a reasonable basic infrastructure and well-developed social services. Thanks to the strenuous efforts of people of Russia and vigorous reforms, the economy of the country within the last few years has succeeded in picking up though many problems stemming from current global crises period remain. As Russia looks to the future increasingly marked by globalization, the country is positioning itself as the region's financial and high-tech hub. May God open the way for Your Excellency and all the Russian people to achieve the short-term targets and long term plans that you and they have in mind !!!!!!! Throughout your public life Your Excellency is accepted and acknowledged as an astute politician and a national figure with a unique mind of your own and inimitable leadership qualities. May I say, Your Excellency also actively performed in any sort of activity that you undertook. Your Excellency always believed that firm handling of governance was necessary to run a country that needs to bring a relief to masses. Your leadership qualities as a visionary, a strategist and a non-violent revolutionary enriched by your long years of political culturing and experience. I am confident that with your long and distinguished involvement in public life, the Russian Federation would continue to advance on the path of economic development and peace and prosperity for her people. May you successfully perform further this demanding and responsible task to steer the nation for the benefit of all the Russian people !!!!!!!! “Politics reflects the will and the mood of the citizens, and the behaviour of politicians, in turn, influences the behaviour of citizens’’ - Email sender Your Excellency, On the solemn occasion of the Statehood Day of Russia, it is also fitting once again to note the ideals of freedom and democracy, which our two countries share. Our two countries are bound together by our common belief in the power of democracy as a force for good and for development, and by our shared commitment to the right of all individuals to be free. Democracy is a system based on trust in the human sense of responsibility. It ought to awaken and cultivate this responsibility. Democracy and civil society are thus two sides of the same coin. Today, when our very planetary civilisation is endangered by human irresponsibility, I see no other way to save it than through a general awakening and cultivation of the sense of responsibility people have for the affairs of this world. The relationship between citizens and their politicians in a democratic society is always two-way. Politics reflects the will and the mood of the citizens, and the behaviour of politicians, in turn, influences the behaviour of citizens. A political power intent on creating a civil society will not be concerned merely with issuing appropriate laws, but also with the creation of what is understood as political culture. To be specific, if politicians wish to awaken in citizens their best strengths and characteristics, their will to serve the whole of society, and their responsibility toward it, then they themselves should think less about making their mark and belittling others and more about the common good. A positive political climate is one of the most important prerequisites of a positive social climate. States cannot be built upon wishes, nor can hopes be achieved by dreams. Your country has stood firm in the face of crises. It has prospered through hard work, perseverance and sacrifice and by placing the interest of the nation above any other. The Russian Federation could not have been established nor could it have prospered, had you not followed from the outset a clear path of mutual inter-dependence and collaboration, a path in which each part is of service to the whole, and in which each part will do all that is required in order to help the whole, the State. Only thus can you attain your goals, strengthen the foundations of your State, preserve its stability and safeguard its achievements. Such is a summary of your past experiences, but it is, too, your path for the future if you are to achieve your hopes and dreams………..many years after the establishment of the Federation, you can say with full confidence that the building of towns and of schools, of roads and of hospitals and the provision of a decent life for the citizens are important aspects of the Federation’s achievements. “As a nation firmly committed to the international co-operation, Sri Lanka looks forward to Russia continuing and strengthening its ties towards global peace and security’’ - Email sender Despite the great distance separating Russia and Sri Lanka, we have a number of common features uniting us. Both Russia and Sri Lanka are countries with time-honoured history and brilliant culture. In Sri Lanka like in Russia, great importance is attached to traditions and customs. We are also bound together by our common belief to give our people a better future. We can and must work together to better confront the many common challenges of a fast changing world. No state can survive on its own any longer today. In the course of increasing globalization, we are experiencing the age of huge networks and small entities. On international level, Sri Lanka therefore fosters close and good co-operation with its partners around the world in four continents. We are convinced that learning from each other and joint action are becoming more and more important. The process of sharing experience and co-operating with our partners is giving us the bid chance to shape our common future. Your Excellency, Globalization, with its fast paced economic activity, is here to stay and will mark the lives of our peoples, although we may not like or welcome some of its consequences. It is a reality that small countries like ours will have to be especially nimble in adapting our ways to stay in the game. In this context, no society can survive in this technologically open world without co-operation among like-minded countries. This globalize world is full of hope and harshness. With entrepreneurial leadership, we can meet the challenge head on. We applaud Your Excellency’s effort to personally provide leadership in taking Russia towards becoming an economic model of prosperity in Eurasia. It is eleven years since the Russian Federation appeared on the world scene as an independent subject of international relations. One can hardly find another decade in history encapsulating such dramatic changes as those that transformed the face of not only Russia, but also of the world as a whole. Yet, in 1991 Russia did make its fundamental historical choice when it took the path of building democratic statehood and a market economy. The choice also predetermined the main orientation of its course in international affairs. And today, eleven years after, it can be asserted that the Russian Federation has materialized as a democratic state with independent foreign policy. Today Russia is one of the fastest growing and modern economies of Eurasia. The Russian economy rebounded in 1999 and 2000, buoyed by the competitive boost from the weak Ruble and a surging trade surplus fuelled by rising world oil prices. This recovery, along with a renewed government effort in 2000 to advance lagging structural reforms, have raised business and investor confidence over Russia's prospects in its second decade of transition. In the year 2000 Russia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 8.5 % while trade surplus recorded US $ 44 billion, which helped to increase usable Foreign Currency reserves of US $ 32.2 billion. The main indicators of social development also show an improvement. The base for this was the general positive shift in the economic sphere of the country. On this occasion we are pleased to note that since the establishment of diplomatic relations in February 1957, both Russia and Sri Lanka has successfully cultivated bilateral ties in various areas. We commend the new Foreign Policy concept of Russia that has been approved by Your Excellency. Proceeding on the basis of that concept, Russia strives to pursue the policy, oriented towards attainment of its goals by means of constructive co-operation and co-ordination with foreign partners. Our respective Foreign Ministries and other official agencies meet regularly to consult each other. It is a matter of immense satisfaction to note that the development of bilateral ties between our two countries is getting an impulse in the recent years. Russia has become a major buyer of Sri Lankan tea with purchases of 45 million kilograms of tea this year. The volume of trade between the two countries for the last year stands at over US $ 115 million. The final touch remains to be added to a new bilateral agreement on trade and economic co-operation. Co-operation in education remains an important part of our interaction. On average every year over 200 young Sri Lankans leave for Russia for studies on both government and commercial basis. More than 1500 Lankan students are studying in Russian Colleges and Universities at present. In Moscow and Colombo friendship societies are operating successfully. We are happy to have Russian Centre in our Capital City, Colombo that is viewed as a real cultural bridge between Russia and Sri Lanka. Russian Language Centre has been set up in Colombo and an association of alumni of our Colleges and Universities is active. The programme of twin Cities is developing successfully between Nuwara-Eliya and Vidnoe, Negombo and Krasnoarmeiysk, Galle and Kirov. Your Excellency, The ties between our two countries are deeply rooted in history and are both diverse and multidimensional in character and shape. Successive leaders of the two countries, since the establishment of diplomatic links, have provided impetus and substance to the nurturing and development of the relationship between Sri Lanka and the Russian Federation. The close personal rapport between Her Excellency the President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga and His Excellency the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and His Excellency the President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and His Excellency the Prime Minister Mikhail Mikhaylovich Kasyanov of the Russian Federation, and the mutual admiration and affection they hold for each other has added a new dimension to the two countries relationship. So, Discussing the Russia-Sri Lanka relationship is a source of both pride and joy. In the area of foreign and international relations, the specific policy of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka has always been based on detente and peaceful co-existence and expansion of relations with other countries on the basis of equal relations and mutual respect. Both Russia and Sri Lanka have participated in many international conferences such as the different U.N. conventions and World Trade Organisation (WTrO) meetings thus sharing a common understanding and belief in the need to further strengthen the solid relationship between the two countries. As a nation firmly committed to the international cooperation, Her Excellency the President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga and His Excellency the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe of Sri Lanka and the Colombo government looks forward to working with His Excellency the President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and His Excellency the Prime Minister Mikhail Mikhaylovich Kasyanov of Russia, and the Moscow government continuing and strengthening its ties towards global peace and security. “The terrorist attack in the United States of America was a ' last wake-up call ' for the whole world to fight against terrorism, an evil that endangers the whole world”’ - President Chandrika Kumaratunga of Sri Lanka delivering M.H.M. Ashraff Memorial Lecture on 16th September 2001 Your Excellency, May I say both Russia and Sri Lanka believes that the world community is now confronted with tasks and challenges that effect in equal measures the security and prosperity interests of all states. Therefore our efforts on the international scene go in two complementary directions - it is, on one hand the consistent uphold of national interests, and on the other - a search for collective solutions to major international problems. Sri Lanka has been confronted with the problem of terrorism for nearly two decades. In recent times, terrorism has begun to cross countries and territories with considerable ease. Indeed, the reach of terrorism is vast. Therefore, today more than ever, we need to co-operate internationally to combat this menace. Today terrorism is a well-organised - also sophisticated - international network linking each and every corner of the world. It has become a global cancer that affects almost all the nations irrespective of its power, wealth or political status in the global scenario. Some countries - mainly the United States and the United Kingdom - took measures during the past couple of years to proscribe dozens of organizations, which they saw as terrorist groups, but according to many analysts it could have been done much earlier. Unless we stand together, we all fall together. It is absolutely high time for it. Expressing a clear political will and commitment to tackle terrorism together is a must. No longer can the developed countries say that it is not our problem, it is somebody else's problem. Now it has become the problem of all us. Your Excellency, Sri Lankan President Her Excellency Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga said on 16th September 2001, that it was not sufficient to hunt down terrorists and perpetrators of terrorism, but it was also essential to understand the deep-rooted causes of this most dehumanising phenomenon of the 21st century. “ The recent attack on the heart of democracy caused heavy losses not only to the United States of America but also its economy and to the global economy. The time has come to join hands to solve the terrorist problem. The terrorist attack in the United States of America was a ‘ last wake-up call ’ for the whole world to fight against terrorism, an evil that endangers the whole world, ” she asserted. She said it was not strategically possible to eliminate terrorism and all developed nations, whatever their differences should unite in creating an atmosphere to root-out the reasons for the emergence of terrorist groups. Sri Lankan President Kumaratunga pledged Sri Lanka's fullest support in this regard. Sri Lanka has been faced with problems of terrorism caused by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a merciless terrorist group that has chosen to reject the democratic path. While we resolutely confront the acts of terrorism perpetrated by the LTTE with its heavy toll of innocent lives, the Sri Lankan government is deeply committed in findings a lasting solution to the genuine grievances of the minority Tamil people. The government is following a three-fold strategy to resolve the minority problem at the origin of the current military conflict. The first stage is to guarantee all rights to communities living in Sri Lanka, through a new Constitution. The second is an extensive programme for the development of impoverished regions, where minorities live. The third is to persuade the LTTE to give up its policy of violence and to negotiate a peaceful solution. We remain confident that a peacefully negotiated settlement is not only imperative, but also indeed possible. While pursuing this political process, we greatly appreciate the consistent support, which the Presidency, as well as Russian government exhibit towards the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka, within the context of the process initiated by the Sri Lankan government. The International community has played an effective role in ending conflicts in different parts of the world. I think the time has certainly come for the International community to make a tangible contribution towards the resolution of the conflict in Sri Lanka. If in order to safeguard sovereignty, some form of International involvement and assistance has become inevitable, it would be like the proverbial ostrich that buried its head in the sand, to remain oblivious to the reality. It would indeed be much more pragmatic and honourable to solicit the required International participation to bring about a just and effective resolution of the conflict, which has caused large scale violations of fundamental human rights, with disastrous consequences unless the war is brought to an end. At present, Norway is a strong supportive of the peace process in Sri Lanka. Norway won a role as a peace-broker when it hosted string of secret meetings in 1993 between Israelis and the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO). Those meetings led to the historic Oslo peace accords. Norway, where the annual Nobel Peace Prize is awarded, also had a hand in promoting peace in Guatemala’s long-running civil conflict. It has also tried, with little success, to help peace efforts in the Sudan. Norwegian Prime Minister His Excellency Kjell Magne Bondevik has told the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in an interview that he was optimistic of bringing the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE to the negotiating table by the middle of this year. In an interview broadcasted on 07th February 2002, the Norwegian Prime Minister said the “ only realistic approach to any lasting peace agreement would be for the LTTE to give up their long-standing claim to the creation of a separate Tamil homeland “. “ This they appeared to be willing to do, “ he said. The Norwegian Prime Minister also said the Sri Lankan government must in return do a “ great deal of work “ to achieve equal conditions for the minority Tamil community. Meanwhile, Norwegian State Secretary for the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Vidar Helgesen, leading the Norwegian peace delegation to solve the crisis has stressed that it is up to the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE to find a solution to the conflict. During his recent visit to Colombo, the Honourable Vidar Helgesen said that Norway will continue to assist the parties in the process, but has no options regarding the substantive elements of a future negotiated settlement between the parties. The Norwegian State Secretary is hopeful that further discussions with the Government and the LTTE would lead to a formalised ceasefire, the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Colombo said in a press release. The Norwegian peace delegation held extensive talks with the LTTE negotiator Mr. Anton Balasingham in London en route to Colombo on the declaration and the proposed Memorandum of Understanding. Your Excellency, The government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE recognising the importance of bringing an end to hostilities and improving the living conditions for all inhabitants affected by the conflict came to an agreement on a ceasefire effective from 22nd February 2002. The Agreement would be implemented progressively and will be fully operative at the end of 90 days. The ceasefire is seen as a means of establishing a positive atmosphere in which further steps towards negotiations on a lasting solution can be taken. With the coming in to effect of the ceasefire there will be a total cessation of military action, which would inter alia include armed raids, ambushes, assassinations, abductions, destruction of civilian or military property, sabotage, suicide missions, aerial bombardment and offensive naval operations. However, the Sri Lankan Armed Forces will continue to perform their legitimate task of safeguarding the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka. An international monitoring mission will be set up to inquire into any violations of the terms and conditions of the Agreement. This mission, named Sri Lanka Military Mission (SLMM) will be headed by Norway and its other members would be Sweden, Denmark and Finland. Your Excellency, The Russian Federation’s deep understanding and concern at challenges facing Sri Lanka and the expressions of support for its endeavour at surmounting them are deeply appreciated. “It is only in a society at peace, with no war or conflict, with equality to all and freedom and democracy enthroned can we enjoy the full benefits of national independence. I like to remind you again about that little ray of hope I can see now which will provide us with an opportunity to achieve the full benefits of independence” - President Chandrika Kumaratunga of Sri Lanka addressing the nation to mark 53rd Independence Day on 04th February 2001 Let me mark this treatise with words on our Executive President. Your Excellency, I like my President and Prime Minister both, very much. Both of their Excellencies are good politicians and they can manipulate the foreign affairs, which is very useful for Sri Lanka nowadays. Her Excellency the President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga was born on 29th June 1945, to one of Sri Lanka’s most distinguished families. Her father, His Excellency the late Solomon Dias Bandaranaike, was a senior Minister of the Government at the time of her birth. He was later to become the Prime Minister of the country, while her mother, Her Excellency the late Sirimavo Bandaranaike, was to become the world’s First woman Prime Minister, in 1961. Her Excellency the President Kumaratunga inherited the liberal political philosophy of her father, His Excellency the late Prime Minister Solomon Dias Bandaranaike. In her student days in Paris, she was also greatly influenced by the radical student movement of the 1960s. The abiding element of that influence in today's vastly changed world circumstances is her deep commitment to the welfare of the deprived, the underprivileged and the disadvantaged. Her unshakable commitment to the imperatives of a plural society has been the other consistent strategy in her approach to politics. She has been a full time political activist from her early youth, establishing grass root contacts far and wide throughout the country. Your Excellency, Her Excellency the President Kumaratunga has had more than her fair share of personal tragedy in life. She was a schoolgirl, when political opponents assassinated her father, His Excellency then Prime Minister Solomon Dias Bandaranaike. Her charismatic film idol cum politician husband Vijaya Kumaratunga whom she married in 1978 was also slain by political opponents in 1988. Her Excellency the President Kumaratunga is the mother of two children, daughter Yasodhara and son Vimukthi. “A New Path for a New Generation ’’ - Newly Elected Prime Minister and charismatic mass leader Ranil Wickremesinghe of Sri Lanka Speaking further about my country, There were various elections that show commitment of our country to democracy and civilisation principles that have been implemented comprehensively every time. We held Municipal and Provincial Council Elections throughout the country in 1999, as well as Presidential Elections, and Parliamentary Elections was held on 05th December 2001. This indicates the reliance of the government of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka repose on the massive support of the people with rich culture and Buddhist civilisation. In this way our country has enriched its political, economical and social foundations. Your Excellency, The opposition United National Party (UNP) in Sri Lanka was returned to power after seven years in opposition, following a strong performance in the country’s Parliamentary Elections. The UNP has swept many districts in the country; winning 114 seats (49% of the votes) in the 225 members Parliament compared to 77 seats (39% of the votes) for the governing People’s Alliance (PA) of Her Excellency the President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga. However, even if Her Excellency the President Kumaratunaga’s PA loses the election, she will continue as Executive President for the next five years and will have to work with an opposition government. The 52-year-old Newly-elected Prime Minister His Excellency Ranil Wickremesinghe has polled the highest number of preferential votes in Sri Lanka’s Elections history obtaining 415,686 votes from the Colombo District. The present leader of the United National Party, His Excellency Ranil Wickremesinghe is its seventh leader. He was also Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister from May 1993 to August 1994. He commenced re-building the party, which had been defeated at three consecutive elections, within his first week as Party Leader. When he assumed leadership, the UNP was in the doldrums. Apart from the electoral losses, it had also lost many of its leaders. Finances and party morale were at an all time low. He re-fashioned the party policies to reflect aspirations of a new society - “ A New Path for a New Generation. ’’ He has commenced the process of restructuring the party to take Sri Lanka into the 21st century. His Excellency the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was born on 24th March 1949 as one of the four sons of the late Mr.Esmond Wickremesinghe, one time Managing Director of the Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited (ANCL) and educated at Royal College and University of Colombo. He passed out from the University of Colombo with a Legum Baccalaureus (LLB) and took his oath in 1972 after completing studies at the Colombo Law College and practised for a few years before taking to politics. He was elected a Member of Parliament for Biyagama, suburb Colombo, at the General Elections in 1977 and was the youngest Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. While in University of Colombo as an undergraduate he took an interest in student activities and was the President of the Law Faculty Student Union and Vice-President of the Student Council. He has travelled widely and, in March 1978 he was elected Chairman of the 34th session of the Economics and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) held in Bangkok, Thailand. He married Maitree, a lecturer at the University of Kelaniya, in 1995. “Sri Lanka is to put forward its Foreign Minister Tyronne Fernando as a candidate to replace United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, whose terms ends in December 2006” - Email sender Your Excellency, Sri Lanka is keen to contest the United Nations Secretary General’s post and the government will launch a campaign shortly to drum up international backing. Sri Lanka is to put forward His Excellency the Minister of Foreign Affairs Tyronne Fernando as a candidate to replace the Ghanaian born Secretary General, His Excellency Kofi Annan, whose terms ends in December 2006. We believe it is going to be Asia’s turn to elect a Secretary General and Sri Lanka should stand a very good chance. The Sri Lankan government would be sounding out neighbouring countries to secure their support for the Oxford-educated veteran politician, also a barrister. The last and only Asian Secretary General was His Excellency the late U Thant of Burma, now Myanmar, who served from 1961 to 1971. While at Oxford His Excellency the Minister of Foreign Affairs Tyronne Fernando had the distinction, in 1961 at the age of 19, of being the first Asian to be elected General Secretary, and then Chairman of the 3,000 strong Oxford University Labour Club, a post that Lord Attlee and Hugh Gaitskell had held in their tine. He was also President of the Keble College Debating Society and elected President of the Oxford University Afro-Asian Society. He had the opportunity in 1961, of interviewing for the undergraduate magazine Isis, His Excellency Kenneth David Kaunda; later President of the Republic of Zambia, and was also elected to the Standing Committee of the Oxford Union Society. He also attended a 29-nation Youth Conference in Crimea, then U.S.S.R. in 1964. Back in Sri Lanka, in his professional capacity he was a practicing criminal lawyer from 1967 for 10 years as a State Prosecutor. He was appointed Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, In 1979. He has been a delegate to the U.N. General Assembly in 1979,1981,1984 and 1987. He was also the Minister of Information for one year from 1993. He pioneered the telecasting of opposition news on Television, created the National Film Development Fund and the University of the air (on Radio), and visited Japan to arrange an educational channel for Television. He also developed the private, electronic media. Speaking about myself, I am a Singhalese, 36 years old and a Technical Officer (Civil) in a private construction company. I am not related to any government institution that has reference to Foreign Relations. I m genuinely interested in World Politics since my school days, and now a freelance writer, who enhance and promote reputation of Sri Lanka. My correspondence with Heads of State and other statesmen started as I wrote a treatise about Papua New Guinea’s Sixth Anniversary of Independence to His Excellency then Prime Minister Sir Julius Chan of Papua New Guinea, when I was a 16 year old schoolboy, in 1981. Sir Julius, in his Radio Broadcast to the Nation on 16th September 1981 said “ Nalin’s letter indicates the position of PNG in world today”. My knowledge of World Politics is on a highest degree, and I know about " Who's Who " in the International political arena very well. Let me also extend my sincere greetings and best wishes to First Lady Lyudmila Putin, Daughters Masha and Katya, while hoping for their perpetual good health, happiness, success and also hoping the country and the people more progress and prosperity. Your Excellency, Pleasures shared are pleasures increased. With Warmest Personal Regards, I remain,
Yours Most Respectfully, G. A. K. Nalin De Silva