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2010 will be a year of the people

Full text of the New Year’s Message from a common candidate of forthcoming presidential election General Sarath Fonseka, is follows;

All citizens, be they Sinhalese, Tamils, Christians or Muslims, irrespective of cast or creed will be able to live with self-respect and in harmony with their brethrens.

By General Sarath Fonseka

(January 01, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) We stand upon the cusp of a brand new year, the beginning of a fresh decade, poised at crossroads that could alter the political history of this nation for many decades to come. 2009 has been a year of immense triumph on the one hand and tragic lost opportunities on the other. As Sri Lankans we stand at the door of this new decade, concerned about our future, a future that seemed so promising seven months ago when we defeated the menace of terrorism.

The past years have been a hard one for Sri Lankans across the board, whether you live in the capital city of Colombo, the deep South or the North and East. We have suffered great losses, fought against tremendous odds and emerged triumphant. Today as we welcome the New Year, we have an opportunity to make something of our triumphs and build on the foundations of reconciliation, prosperity, development and true peace. After decades of living under the menace of terrorism we are now at a historic juncture where we embark on a journey of the like that is undertaken once in a generation, where we finally realise our true potential as a nation.

On this auspicious day, I would like to promise all citizens of Sri Lanka that if one family rule and corruption is defeated in the forthcoming election, it will be with rejoicing hearts and as a united nation that will see the year through. And the end of 2010 will not look anything like the end of 2009, a year that has been spoiled and embittered by expedient politicians and their dynastic agendas.

If I am elected President, it will truly be a victory of the people. And 2010 will be a year of the people. All citizens, be they Sinhalese, Tamils, Christians or Muslims, irrespective of cast or creed will be able to live with self-respect and in harmony with their brethrens.

Under my watch, I will ensure that the soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice to bring peace to this country, would not have done so in vain. I will ensure peace prevails and promise to attend to the welfare of their families, as I will, the grievances of those of who lost their limbs, and those affected by the war, now living the life of the displaced.

2010 will be a watershed year; where the peace dividend will enjoyed and experienced by every citizen, instead of by one ruling family. It will be one in which the hard won victory of war shall be converted into a tangible peace. Sri Lanka will open her doors to security, freedom and economic development that will enable our great nation to reach her full potential and bring her citizens the prosperity and bright futures they have been denied so long.

The challenge before us today, on this first day of the new year is to find the will to do what it takes to liberate this country once again, this time from the evils of politics that threaten to hold us back as a nation forever. I am asking you to place your trust in me and to march alongside me as you did when we marched into terrorist territory in the jungles of the Wanni. I believe that as an upstanding, patriotic citizen of this country, you deserve more than what has been handed out to you by politicians all these long years. Remember that as you step into the New Year, the future of your children and the collective destiny of this country lies in your hands. Vote wisely to usher in a brighter future for yourself and your nation.

As a new decade dawns it is a simple choice we are called upon to make. Will we squander this golden opportunity to achieve a brighter future for those who will come after us, a future rich with the promise of prosperity, communal harmony and freedom or will we go down in history as a generation that wasted the best chance we were provided to march in the correct direction?

New years are about resolutions and new beginnings. The year 2010 could be a grand new beginning for all those of us who love Sri Lanka and those of us who believe that our greatest day still lies ahead. I take this opportunity to wish my fellow countrymen all the very best for the New Year. May it be a year of change for the better, offering hope to the despairing and prosperity for all.

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