Mahinda Rajapaksa as a balanced internationalist
Posted on November 12th, 2018

Dr. Palitha Kohona

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has always been firstly a patriot. His priority has been Sri Lanka and its essential interests.

As a politician he proactively reflected the wishes of the people who elected him. This is abundantly clear in the way he conducted Sri Lanka’s international relations during his tenure as President.

This is the reason why he chose to confront the entrenched terrorist group, the Tamil Tigers, whose primary objective was to dismember the country, contrary to the highly vocal counsel to the contrary from different quarters, mainly from diplomats and NGOs. The Tamil Tigers who controlled significant parts of the country at the time, possessed frightful military capabilities, including feared naval and elementary air arms and were described by the CIA as the most sophisticated terrorist group in the world. Their pioneering use of suicide bombers had instilled a sense of uncertainty and  fear throughout the country. He succeeded, and eliminated them from Sri Lanka and brought thirty years of brutal terror to an end. Once the conflict within the country was ended, he was willing to share the expertise and experience of his battle hardened military with other friendly countries confronting terrorist challenges. He was also willing to provide military forces to the the United Nations which has always been short of well trained military personnel for its peace keeping operations.

His emphasis has always been Sri Lanka and all his initiatives were taken with the objective of advancing Sri Lanka’s interests, including the interests of its labour force. The well being of the people of his country was his first priority. He sought  financial assistance from China because China was the only available source of financing for the massive development projects he had planned for post conflict Sri Lanka. Chinese assistance was sought only after unsuccessful overtures had been made to other friendly countries. But at no stage did he compromise the nation’s sovereignty or integrity. Similarly, he was not going to create situations inimical to the interests of other countries in the region while seeking assistance from China. In many instances, he invited other friendly countries to participate in Sri Lanka’s development efforts prior to seeking Chinese assistance.

By nature he has also been an internationalist who, as executive President, insisted on maintaining warm relations with all countries. He visited many countries with a view to consolidating Sri Lanka’s network of friends. During his tenure as President, he visited the US every year. While he made friends easily, they were never at the expense of the country’s essential interests. His engaging nature made it easy for him to make friends even at the personal level. As Prime Minister, he could be expected to follow a policy that emphasises the primacy of Sri Lanka’s interests while maintaining warm relations with all friendly countries.

3 Responses to “Mahinda Rajapaksa as a balanced internationalist”

  1. Charles Says:

    I have never met him. But following in news very closely one sees what a down to earth man he is. Those who are not generous in appreciating people say that he eliminated terrorism but that was not all that he should have done for Sri Lanka. But they forget eliminaing thirty years of suffering of the people under ruthless terrorism alone is enough for him to be for ever revered as the greatest leader of Sri Lanka after King Dutugamunu. He is accused of corruption and a white van culture, but he is entirely clear of those abuses as it is impossibe for a man like him to be cheap like others. He is above those accusation.

  2. Hiranthe Says:

    I totally agree with Charles provided he will not tolerate corruption of the Ministers and other ranks as to clear this land of the menace of corruption.

    We should have a respectable society appreciated by the entire world. Once the TRUTH is observed by the entire nation, we will be protected by the Dhamma itself as preached by Lord Buddha.

  3. Randeniyage Says:

    I am sorry he is no nationalist but an opportunist who became a nationalist thanks to the sacrifices made by poor Sinhalese boys and girls.
    If he ever removes 13A and implement a new unitary constitution with or without ex-presidancy, I will not hesitate to change my stand and worship him forever.

    He will soon be joining with LTTE and Jihadists to try and win elections. Subrabanium Samy is representing Modi now to make sure he and he will make our motherland an “Special Administrative Region” of India, like Hong Kong or Maccu
    to China.
    I am not sure whether this will bring prosperity to Sri Lanka or not (yet) as it depends mainly on Indian behavior but there is a good chance for that to happen slowly.
    Even though it brings prosperity, personally I hate it, as it will completely destroy out Sinhala Buddhist culture.

    More chances for UNP to win now. It means people will select between Indian owned Hindu Phottuwa Sri Lanka or Western Paragethi UNP Sri Lanka.
    Danger is most people will not believe this Indian conspiracy to destroy us as they thought it was Rajapaksas who won the war and because political slaves to them than independent thinking.
    I am hopeful people will realise the danger of INDIA, out main enemy.

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