PM Shinzo Abe’s visit, a historic significance

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I am a Sri Lanka Buddhist monk long resident in Japan. I hail and hold in high esteem this epoch – making meeting between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Historically, this event possesses high significance. This is the first visit of a Prime Minister of the Land of the Rising Sun to Sri Lanka in 24 years.

Both these leaders are globally reputed – and justly so – as strong Champions of peaceful ideals. The PM’s wholesome principles of governance that are calculated to promote greater understanding and positive co-operation, will raise cordial echoes in many lands that look up to Japan in high admiration.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the current chairperson-in-office of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Organization, also projects to the world the image of a leader who never budges even momentarily from his undiminishing and total devotion to peace and harmony. During his tenure of office as the Chairperson-in-Office of this 54 member august assembly, President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s unceasing endeavour would be to cooperate with other states to establish those values that would enable the world to live in peace and harmony. Viewed this way, it is starkly clear that both these leaders are fully committed to the ideals of building a world that totally eschews violence and conflict.

Over and above that, both these leaders are emphatically patriotic in their personality make-up. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan is considered markedly patriotic in outlook. The Prime Minister’s profound deference for the sacred and glorious traditions of Japan, is extensively known in his own land. Japan possesses an engrossing and rich tradition about its early past. Japan’s Foundation myth, traces the beginning of the Japanese imperial Line to Amaterasu – the Sun Goddess, 2600 years ago. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s deep-seated devotion to the historical evolution of his country along with his determined resolution to restore Japan’s past glory, has earned him the sobriquet “The Chief Patriot.”

As a widely admired National Leader, his image has escalated into a “role model.”

The uncompromising patriotism of Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa, is equally formidable. Unfazed by the hideous threats and the challenges posed by the world’s most diabolical terrorist horde, he forthrightly declared that he was totally committed to the idea of fully eradicating these inhuman forces.

He was moved to the very depths of his soul by the excruciating tortures the masses had to suffer at the hands of these blood-thirsty monsters. In such a context, when the President expressed his unswerving determination to rid the land of this despicable scourge of heartless terrorism, he was clearly exposing himself to a tremendous risk. But his patriotic fervour asserted itself above the danger to his person.

This way both these eminent leaders possess exceptional personality traits that seem quite similar. In consequence, their meeting is replete with an abundant series of wholesome blessings for both these noble lands, inheriting age-old cultural traditions. The Prime Minister on his visit to Sri Lanka, would perhaps bring with him traces of historical memories relating to the strong ties of friendship that bond us together. Sri Lanka figures prominently in a crucial and momentous event in the recent history of Japan. At the end of World War II, an epoch-making assembly was held in San Francisco, US. The year was 1951. The assembled world powers seemed moved by a relentless urge of vengeance. Leavening the sore minds of those agitated leaders, a soft voiced Sri Lankan delegate spoke his cadenced stanza from the Buddha, extolled the timeless virtues of non-hatred. The fury of the troubled minds soothened. In stunned silence, they absorbed the compassionate words of the Sri Lankan Leader J.R. Jayewardene Japan knew that the Sri Lankan leader’s words made a positive change in the vengeful attitude of some in that Assembly.

From then on Japan – Sri Lanka bonds acquired a spiritual aura. Sri Lankans are grateful to Japan. As a Nation, the people of Sri Lanka cherish the gifts that Japan has endowed upon us. Japan gave us a brand new TV Complex. The main training college is a blessing we received from the Land of the Rising Sun.

The modern sophisticated and fully equipped Hospital at Jayewardanepura, is symbolic of Japan’s concern for our well-being.

Japan is mindful of our spiritual well-being as well. Peace pagodas constructed under Japanese patronage, occupy important sites in various parts of our island.

Children’s welfare and infant education are sectors in which, we have had lavish Japanese blessings. In other words, Japan has quite pragmatically proved that the Land of the Rising Sun, is the most fertile source of assistance to Sri Lanka. Among foreign donors, Japan decidedly occupy first place.

Given this background of solid unwavering and continuing friendship that Japan extends to us, it is no wonder that the visit of the Japanese PM should be considered a highly felicitous moment for the people of Sri Lanka.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa, I am quite certain, entertains a special cordiality towards this Japanese leader, as the two of them understand and appreciate each other deeply.

The 50-year-old Prime Minister of Japan is the son of a foreign minister and the grandson of a prime minister.

In his earlier term, Shinzo Abe was Japan’s youngest prime minister. On that occasion, he had to resign office just after an year, due to reasons concerning his health.

When he came back as Prime Minister, Japan and the world at large, became fully aware that Shinzo Abe had come back to the office of PM totally ready to restore Japan to its former glory. His formula for the renaissance of Japan is dubbed, ‘Abenomics’.

This is his road map to take Japan to an era of new prosperity and patriotic fervour. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to Sri Lanka was just after he reshuffled his cabinet for greater efficiency.

Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa I am sure, would be extremely happy to indicate to the visiting dignitary, the patriotic and humane policy he had pursued to convert erstwhile enemies into patriotic citizens, while transforming a terrorism – ravaged region into a flourishing and smiling haven.

The visit of the Prime Minister of Japan is a multiple blessing indeed to Sri Lanka.

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