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A trilingual younger generation: MR

19 November 2010 06:24 am - 81     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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President Mahinda Rajapaksa today said that the younger generation would be taught all three languages to ensure harmonious coexistence that would contribute to the country’s development process.

Addressing the nation a short while ago after taking oaths for his second term President Rajapaksa stated that his vision is to create a younger generation well versed in the modern technologies so that they are able to be on par with the rest of the world. “We hope to increase the IT literacy of Sri Lanka by 75%. I have great faith in the youth of Sri Lanka and I strongly believe that they would play an important role in steering the country towards development,” he added.

Speaking further of the development activities taking place in the country, he added that by 2012 every household will be provided with electricity. “I accept the country today with great courage, strength and confidence much higher than my previous term. I believe that together we would be able to take Sri Lanka to greater heights through making the plans of Mahinda Chinthana, a reality,” he added. (LP)


Full speech

Following is the speech by President Mahinda Rajapaksa after the swearing in of the second term of office


You are well aware that you now stand on our motherland that is much greater than what was handed over to me five years ago. There can be no greater satisfaction to a leader than the humble joy of being able to address one’s people after building a much better country than before and successfully carrying out the responsibility handed over to me by the citizens of this country.

I recall how, five years ago on November 19, 2005, I took over this country in this premises. On that 19 th of November when I took over this country it was divided and the Sri Lankan nation was losing this country. Yet, we toiled day and night with patience and commitment, facing all hostile forces, unshaken in the midst of rising storms. Subsequently, on another memorable 19th - the 19th of May - we united this country achieving a victory over terrorism that had its global echoes. Today, on this 19th of November, I take over this country again with the determination, strength and courage to raise my motherland to a position of greatness in the world.

Sri Lanka became a united nation, freeing the country in line with the Mahinda Chinatana of 2005. From this day on, we will bring this nation to a position of greatness in this world implementing the policy of Mahinda Chintana: Vision for the future. Today, I take over this country with more courage, strength and confidence than in 2005.

Most of us, throughout our lives, have seen two destructive uprisings in the South and a thirty year long terrorist destruction in the North. I have seen efforts to globally humiliate our motherland through terrorism and separatism, and uprisings.

Our task as a nation on the rise to be among the great nations of the world, is to prevent such bloodshed in another twenty or thirty years. Therefore our first task is to ensure lasting national unity and sustainable, permanent peace in our motherland.

I believe that the eradication of poverty is greater than the defeat of uprisings. It requires true bravery.

In the Mahinda Chintana of 2005, we decided to develop the 16,000 villages where more than 80% of our people live. You will feel the change in cities outside Colombo and in the villages where there is a new light of progress in place of the former darkness and ruin around. When five ports are being developed the villages around them will inevitably be transformed into developed economic zones. These rural areas that were ignored from the days of imperial rule are being developed and the nation's doors open for new employment, industry, business opportunity and massive development.

Yet, we are aware that the developed countries in the world have many other cities of fame apart from their capital cities. When development spreads and the revolution of roadways expands we will have several cities that are not second in anyway to Colombo. This will inevitably lead to a completely different image of Sri Lanka that the world will see tomorrow.

The massive power projects now under construction will ensure that by 2012 every home and family in our country will have electricity. Therefore, the land that was freed from terrorism will by 2012 be a land that is freed of darkness. You will soon hear the hum of industry that is powered by this energy.
In keeping with the exhortation of our former kings that not a drop of water should flow to the sea without first serving the people, we are today harnessing the water in all our great reservoirs for the task of development. All reservoirs must be used without letting them idle. This will lead to the filling up of our barns, providing drinking water to the people. When we have enough food for our bodies, our minds will be filled with the comfort of freedom. 

What lies ahead is a period when all of us will have to work hard for our country. Our expectation is to modernize all areas of employment as to make them more productive and provide more revenue. The work of our people should be regarded as an asset and not the result of hiring or slavery. Our labour is an asset of dignity. It is by increasing the quality of work that my country can be made the Wonder of Asia.

We have great hope for our younger generation. We will forever remember the way our young men joined the combined forces and brought victory to the nation, which bewildered the world. I lay trust in our beloved sons and daughters while remembering those unparalleled heroes of war who rest in this soil.
We must move towards a future generation that is trilingual. It is my hope to raise the level of computer literacy to 75% in the near future and make our future generation true heroes of technology in the modern world. The name of Sri Lankan youth must top the list of those employed in the fields of science and technology. Our generation can achieve this victory by making our country the knowledge hub we intend it to be.

What I seek is a country where we can travel from one end to another in a few hours; an era which provides a good income for our people. We must rise by making this country the hub of development in the five-fold areas of naval, aviation, commerce and trade, power and energy, and knowledge. We must make this a country one among those with the best quality of life.

There is no room for hatred on politics, community, caste or religion when our children are brought up in a life that is replete with all facilities, has shelter and security, and is rich in love and friendship.

Development does not mean living in isolation surrounded by concrete structures while abandoning great humanitarian values, distancing oneself from the greenery of trees, nature and other species around us. We should move towards development while safeguarding the great humanitarian traditions that exist among our people. Nature as seen in the trees, vegetation and animals in our habitat should also obtain the benefits of the development we achieve.

Remember this! We are not a miniature of a developed country. We are Sri Lanka. Our motherland is Sri Lanka.

We have the inherited wisdom to tolerate all opinion and take mature decisions. We have a tradition of understanding our problems and conflicts and finding solutions for them.

We understand our problems with perceived wisdom, based on realities. The expectations of the people are not those of the terrorists.

We have carried out development work in the North and East as never before in the history of these regions. All development processes carried out in the North and East, are a closure of the highways to terrorism. I strongly believe that this infrastructure to banish poverty is a major part of a political solution.
The people of the North were able to use their franchise in freedom at the Presidential and Parliamentary elections. In the forthcoming elections too, we will ensure their right to vote freely and elect their representatives.

Out policy is one of non-alignment. We do not have enemy states or such groups or blocs. During the last era, we worked with many nations in agreement and friendship for national security. We now step into the development era. We extend our hand of friendship to those who assist us in this endeavour. There will be no development in the absence of peace, nor peace in the absence of development. Therefore, we will strengthen already existing relations between nations and are ready to establish new relations for national security and development.

I am not used to abandoning a task due to difficulty or hardship. Not only in freeing our nation, we will also not hesitate to take the boldest of decisions in resolving the deep crises that many think prevail in society. We need a land free of a lawless underworld, racketeering, extortion and the carrying of illegal weapons or drugs; a land free of corruption and inefficiency.

We received a huge majority in all regions of this country in the Presidential and Parliamentary elections. The people of this country gave us a huge mandate which cannot be possible through proportional representation. We wish to see everyone in this land become a stakeholder in the future victories that will flow from this great victory, regardless of political differences.

There is no higher position you could elevate me to. I too do not see any higher position I could achieve in our motherland. There is only one place I can think of. It is my home at Madamulana where I will retire to. If when I go there, the people of this country who meet me tell me with gratitude, ‘You have done your duty by the country’; that shall be my greatest satisfaction. I value the joy and contentment of my people more than my own.

Never in any of my speeches have I referred to my motherland as a small country. I have never called the land of my birth, ‘small Sri Lanka’ or ‘small Island’. This is a land with a great history of many centuries, where the Kalawewa, Ruwanweliseya, Sigiriya, Yoda Ela, Lovamahapaya stand; where the Buddha has trod thrice on this land. A land that won our freedom from the world’s most powerful imperialism from struggles that lasted nearly four centuries; has defeated the most ruthless and savage terrorist of the world. It is where people who follow four different faiths live in harmony and where today many communities live in brotherhood; and where the world’s largest habour and five other ports are being built, and the strides of development are proceeding to build airports, expressways and massive power stations. With such an abundance of greatness who would dare to say that this is a small island?

Therefore, never ever call this a small country. You too must develop your body, mind and word to match the dignity of this land of your birth and take this country to the greatness it deserves.


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  Comments - 81

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  • carrlos Friday, 19 November 2010 05:41 PM

    Good idea, first step towards this can you please release the young innocent Tamils who are in camp and give them a proper home.

    denisha Friday, 19 November 2010 07:03 AM

    baila gamuda remix karala......baila gamuda remix karala....

    Roland Almeida Friday, 19 November 2010 07:04 AM

    Good speech

    Prasanna Friday, 19 November 2010 07:12 AM

    Yes Mr President. This is the way forward. The public at large is with you. Don't get disheartened with what the critics say ceaselessly, merely on assumptions and fantacies. You are a seasoned politician who obviously know how depressed minds of opposition supporters and LTTE sympathisers work. Bravo...

    Geethike Friday, 19 November 2010 07:12 AM

    I like :)

    looney Friday, 19 November 2010 07:24 AM

    while congratulating for a second innings of success dear president i wish you could change the strategy to hit the ball hard this time. your first innings was slow and steady with so much of patience and empathy. I sincerely hope you will play the first few years as if it’s a T20 cos you have nothing to loose. The oppression is full of injured players and most of the good bowlers and batsmen are on your side now. Looking forward for a thundering start and a steady run rate during the first few overs.

    Dheen Friday, 19 November 2010 07:26 AM

    We welcome your proposal to establish a Sri Lankan identity irrespective of the different communities. If you are so keen why don't you start right away in all spheres and give that feeling of oneness - just don't confine it to your words. Give life to what you say and show the world that you are a statesman on this red letter day.

    baila raja Friday, 19 November 2010 07:33 AM

    Not a novel idea, Trilingual is like 13+, Master Mother language and English. That's most practicable and enough. Very few can master and comprehend 3 languages.

    anton Friday, 19 November 2010 07:36 AM

    KIYANNA KESE KEEWATH ASANNA SIHI BUDDIYEN ESIYA UTHUI!!

    kumar Friday, 19 November 2010 07:42 AM

    congratulation president !

    Nalin Friday, 19 November 2010 07:44 AM

    So many promises left out, including power curtain, we r the citizen knows what we left to enjoy on this occasion.

    wije Friday, 19 November 2010 06:56 PM

    spark, I think something wrong with your eyes or mind

    wije Friday, 19 November 2010 07:03 PM

    Tamil areas? In tamilnadu ?

    Shifan Cassim Friday, 19 November 2010 07:55 AM

    Very good speech he made. Country can be proud of our President.

    Buraik Friday, 19 November 2010 07:57 AM

    Great, if they impliment it, without showing luckwarm enthuasism.

    NADARAJAH SETHURUPAN Friday, 19 November 2010 07:57 AM

    President Mahinda Rajapaksa – Congratulations! on Your Second Term.

    Rajash Friday, 19 November 2010 07:19 PM

    he will soon claim that government policy has made everyone trilingual in the country.
    so there is no need for Tamil language

    Rajash Friday, 19 November 2010 07:20 PM

    well Sri Lanka is going to be a major force, the rest of the world has to learn Sinhala

    dinnaga Friday, 19 November 2010 08:13 AM

    I think its high time we must make English the main operational language, like Singapore and Malaysia this will be the start of the healing process, all equal under one flag. I hope that the leaders will have the strength to make tough changes without pandering to petty vote getting gimmicks.

    zorro Friday, 19 November 2010 08:32 AM

    there have been other visions and promises given in the past and still many of the IDPs are living in camps. If anybody find me not just just take a note of his promises and make a balance at the end of 2012.

    Tony Friday, 19 November 2010 08:33 AM

    BGrilliant idea
    My good wishes

    Prof. R. Ferdinandez Friday, 19 November 2010 08:35 AM

    hey hey boss, yes Champika is one minister, don't read his scripts , you are the prez. Electricity to all houses is OK but what about those who don't have houses? That's the bigger problem, not electricity.

    Modawasage_Balaputha Friday, 19 November 2010 08:38 AM

    the older generation will not be thought???

    Kumudu Friday, 19 November 2010 09:40 PM

    Very good speech. He deserve support. He should remove his ministers. Appoint a senate.

    marcus fernando Friday, 19 November 2010 08:39 AM

    good, if he keeps all his words

    Anver Friday, 19 November 2010 08:48 AM

    THIS IS A GREAT IDEA AND NEEDS TO BE PUT IN MOTION IMMEDIATELY.

    J. Uyangoda Friday, 19 November 2010 08:54 AM

    Rather than trying trilingual,wouldn't it be better to devolve power to North & East so that the majority there can engage in development actively. This will discourage unnecessary international involvements, diaspora and some local intellects' stance.

    sinhalaya Friday, 19 November 2010 11:30 PM

    Best Chintanaya yet! But train good teachers in all three languages.

    baila raja Friday, 19 November 2010 08:58 AM

    trilingual is like 13+. Only a few people can comprehend 3 languages. Better allow Tamils to develop their areas.

    Prasanna Friday, 19 November 2010 09:02 AM

    Any particular reason as to why only N & E be given special devolution of power that others don't have ? Please stop adding fuel to racism that ruined one entire generation in this country and make money and your living out of it.

    Ranjit Friday, 19 November 2010 09:03 AM

    NATO

    sw Friday, 19 November 2010 01:51 PM

    Most of the Sinhalese do not know any English, first make them Bilingual. With Bandula as Education Minister it will be all "parippu".

    J. Uyangoda Friday, 19 November 2010 09:11 AM

    Just reminding His Excellency's promise in the form of 13+ .

    Raman Sunday, 21 November 2010 08:08 PM

    Sri Lanka .. what is it?

    spark Friday, 19 November 2010 09:19 AM

    The only practical things we know so far about Mahinda and his Chinthana are (a) All mega projects to China without the use of local resources (b) Unrestraint rise in cost of living (c) Break down in rule of law including amnesty to murder convicts (d) Total chaos in the education system with O'level failure up to 52% (e) promising salary increases and not keeping to those promises (f) Almost 5 million posters of grinning Mahinda staring at us everyday from every nook and corner (g) lowering taxes for items that the rich purchase than the essential items that the poor require everyday and many more that cannot be listed here.

    N. Komali Friday, 19 November 2010 09:21 AM

    MR accepted power devolution for N&E and got the Indian support and intelligence backing to win the war. Nobody can deviate away from that truth which is extremely necessary to avoid another uprising.

    Tom Friday, 19 November 2010 09:22 AM

    Correct, and the process has to start some where and I think this is the right direction. It has been initiated without hurting anyone which is a major move.

    Saleem Friday, 19 November 2010 09:25 AM

    The plans of Mahinda Chinthana I included the abolition of executive presidency and resolution of the ethnic conflict, and in his second term the president forgot about them. Let him endeavour to catch up with tinnies Singapore and Malaysia first.

    spark Friday, 19 November 2010 09:26 AM

    Only for speeches but no action. Of course action such as "Mihin Lanka" and a port that may have one ship per day.

    Siri Friday, 19 November 2010 09:28 AM

    I for one would like devolved power to Central and North central province, because I am selfish and not thinking the betterment of my small country as one unit! No, united we stand; separation is the recipe for demise.

    steve Friday, 19 November 2010 09:28 AM

    He made even better speach in Jaffna, excellent, what a leader... look in youtube and search for "Mahinda put the blame on Jaffna Tamils"

    Siri Friday, 19 November 2010 09:31 AM

    Why ? Most people in Europe (rich and poor) can comprehend 3 languages from childhood. No reason why it can't be done here, once started.

    No one important Sunday, 21 November 2010 02:38 AM

    I am up for English as its the easiest language to learn. I am a tamil....You guys will never learn it.....Its so hard.....good luck!

    PWC Friday, 19 November 2010 09:40 AM

    We should have build it in Polonnaruwa. Then hundreds of ships per day !!

    Oyage Podi Guru Saturday, 20 November 2010 01:38 AM

    Nonsense! Most people in Europe do not comprehend 3 languages from childhood.

    spark Friday, 19 November 2010 09:41 AM

    But when racism is in the blood, the tongue will not accept the language other than cursing the other race. Even MR cannot understand the tamil he berates...it is written in sinhala and he just bulldozes through it where even a tamil cannot comprehend what he is saying.

    PWC Friday, 19 November 2010 09:43 AM

    Prof. ?? Why should government give every person a house. If it's so, why do people build houses by own taking loan and spending hard earned money.

    Royce Saturday, 20 November 2010 02:05 AM

    Evan study other languages at private institutions Gvt impose Tex. This may be the idea to make more income to Gvt.

    baila raja Friday, 19 November 2010 09:46 AM

    Majority of Which European Nation master 3 languages? Germans,Italians and Frenchmen put no weight on English. Then tell what are the other 2 languages they comprehend other than their mother language.

    PWC Friday, 19 November 2010 09:47 AM

    These people are from opposition. They are taught only to oppose everything even it's good. That's it.

    frenchie Friday, 19 November 2010 09:47 AM

    Hooray! Free Tele-prompters for all!!

    Vithanage Friday, 19 November 2010 09:51 AM

    What is the point in teaching all three languages? two is just enough. Sinhala and English for Sinhala kids, Tamil and English for Tamil kids. When Tamil wants to speak to Sinhala then English can be used. Why waste time teaching three languages?

    TMA Friday, 19 November 2010 09:51 AM

    Ee kiyanne kiyannata buddiyak netat? :)

    TMA Friday, 19 November 2010 09:52 AM

    Good 1 bro!

    Dr.Raghavan.P Friday, 19 November 2010 09:57 AM

    Dear excellency, your prime task would be focused on the development of economy(both in agriculture and technology) higher education and research.Then the nation will set as an example like Japan in South Asia.

    unl Saturday, 20 November 2010 03:04 AM

    Where is SF’s best friend weather GOD. Its looks like even the weather GOD change sides. Few more buckets to SF cell please.

    Dr.Raghavan.P Friday, 19 November 2010 10:06 AM

    Learning of any language is an advantage to any progressive person.Learning is a positive process in life .So please do not call it as a waste of time.I born in Sri lanka and I can speak many eastern and western languages .They really help me in mixing with various ethnic groups at different geographical zones

    chris abey Friday, 19 November 2010 10:08 AM

    Correct this should be the starting point.No Use trying to make the city beautiful like in Singapore and so on.This was the only civil war which was fought based on different language.Isnt this the same the Cardinal said on the lessons learnt commission? We should never have introduced the Sinhala only policy.The great leader of Singapore saw the struggles of Sri Lanka coming and avoided the mistake in his on country.This was stated by him in his memoirs.Sadly our politicians continued the blunder and our children and grand children are like frogs in the well.Lets hope he does as he says.Only time will tell.

    chris abey Friday, 19 November 2010 10:41 AM

    Learning is never a waste.Most Tamils and Muslims know all three languages.The Tamils in Colombo make an effort to learn Sinhalese.It is the Sinhalese who are still stuck at one language which is also the language spoken only in Sri Lanka.
    So wake up and learn English and Tamil too.Tamil is spoken in Singapore,India and Malaysia.English is spoken all over the world.

    Fantastic Friday, 19 November 2010 10:51 AM

    It has been too long, finally someone with vision and strength to lead Sri Lanka out of the hole that is has come to be in. The future is bright.

    Oyage Podi Guru Saturday, 20 November 2010 09:40 AM

    Nonsense! Most people in Europe do not comprehend 3 languages. And certainly not from childhood! The better educated people who are not English speakers in the first instance will likely know some or a lot of English. The Dutch and the Scandinavians learn English of necessity because their languages are not spoken and learned by many people outside of their countries. This country of Sri Lanka does not have enough qualified teachers to teach Sinhala and Tamil to the speakers of the other language. In fact, Sri Lanka lacks sufficiently qualified English-speaking teachers.

    xlntgson Sunday, 21 November 2010 09:41 AM

    @No one important, I disagree with you Sinhala and Tamil have same structure, sentence pattern and function, though a few letters are from the Sanskrit and Pali. In that case a Tamil may feel that Sinhala is very difficult nonetheless the initial hiccups won't discourage him if he learns with a will and desire.

    Jix Friday, 19 November 2010 10:53 AM

    :) anyway, lets give a chance and see... not like there's much of a choice anyway noh..

    Yehiya-Doha Friday, 19 November 2010 04:30 PM

    Closing the entire Colombo operation & made the wonder of Asia.

    Raja Senanayake Friday, 19 November 2010 10:54 AM

    I think that the aim to make Sri Lanka trilingual is neither practical nor economic. What is required is to provide for Tamil in the North & East in Tamil areas where the administration can be carried out in Tamil. Also in the Estate areas where the Tamils are in a majority.In other areas like Colombo it should be English with Sinhala or English with Tamil

    ishi Friday, 19 November 2010 10:55 AM

    who is going to teach? How many trained teachers are there to teach English at village schools???
    Good if he can implement.

    Vithanage Friday, 19 November 2010 11:00 AM

    It seems that your suggestion for Sinhalese is to learn a more popular language like Tamil... If that is the case then it is much better for both Tamils and Sinhalese to learn either Chinese/Spanish than learning each others language.

    Ruwan Friday, 19 November 2010 11:03 AM

    IN MALAYSIA MAIN LANGUAGE IS MALAY AND THEY USE MALAY FOR ALL OFFICIAL PURPOSES. SO, ALL MALAYS, CHINESE AND INDIANS USE MALAY AS THE OFFICIAL LANGUAGE.
    But yes, in SL, we can make English as the operational language

    Calistus Jayatilleke Friday, 19 November 2010 11:06 AM

    Good idea, but why not start with your cabinet since most of them know only how to speak in Sinhala and some are very much adept at using filth in Sinhala. Let Ministers like Maravin and Gel Wansa learn some English for a change.

    asha Saturday, 20 November 2010 10:21 AM

    UDAA NOVUNU HETA....?

    Roweena Saturday, 20 November 2010 10:48 AM

    Ayubowan, Vanakkaim, Asalamalaikum, Good luck!

    xlntgson Saturday, 20 November 2010 11:08 AM

    Congratulations on your ascension to your second term; also for your sixty fifth birth day, Long live!
    Your vision is clear, the trilingual formula will work, as a trilingual I can foresee your clairvoyance!
    I was able to overcome some misunderstandings about Sinhalese only after I learned Sinhala well.

    Nesan Sunday, 21 November 2010 12:49 PM

    What about political solutions to Tamils? Why you leaders easily forget what you promised before the war?


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