Naming the key events for 2010 was what the Business Times asked its readers this week in an email poll and gave a choice of 10 options with the majority of the respondents picking the victory by Mahinda Rajapaksa at the January Presidential poll as the main event.
In second place, as the most significant event of the year, was the jailing of former Army commander and Presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka while the ruling UPFA win at parliamentary poll drew readers response as the third, most important development.
The opening of the Hambantota port (4th place), the appointment of the controversial UN Panel on human rights issues in Sri Lanka (5th) and Sri Lanka making a bid for the Commonwealth Games to be held in Hambantota (6th) were the other top contenders.
The constitutional change allowing President Mahinda Rajapaksa to seek an unlimited number of terms also drew some attention from respondents while Sri Lankan boxer Manju Wanniarachchi winning Gold at the Commonwealth Games but being disqualified for taking a banned drug was also highlighted by the respondents.
The poll was conducted in collaboration with the Colombo-based Research Consultancy Bureau (RCB), a market and social research agency, amongst over 700 respondents including street interviews.
A second section of the poll asked respondents as to what they expect would happen in 2011 and the response (in order of priority) was that the cost of living wil continue to rise; the economy will grow substantially; Sarath Fonseka will be released; the UNP will have a new leader, and the private sector will make huge profits
Among comments received in the poll were:
- The Government is allowing the rich to enjoy life by taxing the poor
- Sarath Fonseka ‘s good image was destroyed by his own actions including entering into politics
- President took revenge from Fonseka
- Hambantota port will bring benefits to the country
- The president won the election by rigging and he is now taking revenge from the people, pushing them into economic difficulties
- The price hike in goods and essential items is natural during the December festive season and the government has no hand in it
- Public money is being wasted on tele-villages, ports, airports, playgrounds in Hambantota
- Cost of living is sky-rocketing day-by-day even in the New Year. The government has lost its popularity
- Ranil Wickremasinghe is destroying the opposition in collaboration with the ruling party. Sajith Premadsasa should be given the leadership of the opposition
- There should be an improvement in the law and order situation
- The road to the north should be open without any restrictions