Shun ethnic differences and work for the nation: Rajapaksa

Last Updated: Sat, Jan 30, 2010 12:13 hrs

Colombo: Buoyed by the Presidential poll victory after defeating opposition candidate Sarath Fonseka, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rahapaksa on Saturday asked the people across the country to shun ethnic, religious and political differences and work for the nation's development.

Rajapaksa thanked the "matured" Sri Lankan electorate for endorsing his fight against terrorism to pave the way for national reconciliation by re-electing him to the countrys top post.

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"I value the keen interest and participation of all sections of society in this election," he said in a statement.

This showed the maturity of the Sri Lankan electorate and their endorsement of my leadership in eliminating terrorism, restoring peace and paving the way for national reconciliation and the peaceful development of the country, he said.

"I thank the voters of Sri Lanka for their firm commitment to democracy which resulted in the historic and resounding victory for me and the people, in the first free and fair election held throughout the country in nearly three decades, and since the defeat of terrorism last year," he said.

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I note that the high voter turnout at this election was far higher than any other democracy in Asia, or the Western world, he said.