brave step into the unknown that comes good
By Chandani Kirinde
A well-known Sri Lankan businessman who took out
full-page advertisements in seven local daily newspapers to congratulate
US President George W. Bush even before he was re-elected says it
was an "investment made on behalf of the entire nation"
and the million rupees he spent on them would be a great help to
the people of Sri Lanka.
was in appreciation of what George W. Bush done for our country.
He put pressure on both parties – the government and the LTTE
– to end the war and as a result we have peace in our country
today", the businessman, A.S.P. Liyanage who was one of the
country's leading property developers and real estate agents said.
to the US election Mr. Liyanage has no qualms about spending more
money to honour the newly re-elected US leader and is planning a
celebration bash to which he hopes to invite many important persons
in the country including some local politicians.
Liyanage 's advertisements, which he himself designed, appeared
in many of the Sinhala and English dailies on November 1, the day
before the US election much to the bemusement of many people who
wondered why a Sri Lankan businessman was spending so much money
to congratulate a US Presidential candidate who many polls had predicted
could lose his re-election bid.
the day the advertisements appeared, Mr. Liyanage's office received
as many as 128 calls including some from Americans and they had
the same question from him.
took all the calls personally and there were many who were critical
of my move. But many of them agreed with me when I explained to
them that more than 65,000 people had died in Sri Lanka's civil
war in the last 20 years and how the visits to our country of US
government representatives like Christine Rocca and Richard Armitage
and who pressured the parties involved in the conflict to come to
a settlement", Mr. Liyanage told The Sunday Times in an interview.
asked how he had been so sure of a win for President Bush, Mr. Liyanage
who was yet to visit the US, said he was a positive person and although
he himself believed in astrology, he decided to ignore the astrological
and poll predictions of a win for Mr. Bush's opponent and take the
risk of putting an advertisement prior to the US election day.
my family members thought it was a bad idea but within 24 hours
after the thought came to my mind, I called my advertising manager
and told him of my plan. He too thought it was a bad idea but I
was adamant to go ahead with the move.
advertising manager had a hard time getting the advertisement accepted
at many of the newspaper offices while some of them even suggesting
that the word ‘Congratulations’ be changed to ‘Best
wishes’, as there was no guarantee Mr. Bush would win.
insisted that it was my money and the ad should appear the way I
designed it and that is what finally happened", Mr. Liyanage
said. Asked if he hoped to hear from the US President about his
unusual gesture, Mr. Liyanage said there was a possibility this
Bush in his first term managed to end the war in Sri Lanka and I
think in his second term he will help to bring about permanent peace
to our country," he said. Strangely Mr. Liyanage has not taken
out any similar advertisements in support of Sri Lankan politicians
and ruled out any political ambitions of his own.
American grapes to tickle Lankan taste buds
US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Jeffrey J. Lunstead said his
country would continue its work to bring about peace in Sri Lanka
and further foster the growing relations between the two countries.
said there were many areas of co-operation between the two countries
and more economic prospects between the two countries. The Ambassador
made these comments in Colombo while answering queries from journalists
when he participated in the promotion of Californian grapes, which
were introduced to the Sri Lankan market last Friday.
Ambassador welcomed the initiative to introduce locals to this healthy
and delicious American export.