Colombo: President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Sunday
underlined his government`s determination to make Sri Lanka
the "wonder of Asia" following the end of the three-decades
long ethnic conflict in the country.
"It is our firm determination on this International
Workers` Day to make Sri Lanka the wonder of Asia through
national development achieved with the participation of the
working people," he said in his May Day message.
"The paths to development that were hitherto
obstructed by terrorism are now open to the people of our
country," he said.
Sri Lanka`s political parties today held May Day
rallies without security fears for the first time since the
end of the violent ethnic conflict.
Former President Ranasinghe Premadasa was assassinated
by the LTTE while he was participating in the UNP’s May Day
rally in 1993.
Rajapaksa said the working people of Sri Lanka
celebrate International Worker`s Day this year "enthused by
their ability to proceed towards development and peace".
He extended his "warmest greetings" to the people.
"After a struggle of more than three-decades, Sri Lanka has
now overcome the biggest challenge of terrorism that was faced
by the country and its working people, he said, adding "I
recognise with due respect the great role played by the
working people in this task".
The President also thanked the people for voting
overwhelmingly for him and his party in the presidential and
the parliamentary polls.
"We are further strengthened by the faith placed in us
by the people for the protection of the nation`s assets and
preventing these resources from being lost through
alienation, he said.