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Success through unshaken determination - President to Mussoorie students

November 27, 2006- 8.30 GMT 
"The secret of my achieving this position is my unshaken determination and the fact that unlike many other politicians I have not changed political parties. I have been in the same political party from the time I began politics," said President Mahinda Rajapaksa, answering a question, when he met with students of St. George's College, Mussoorie today (Monday 27).

President Rajapaksa met with the student members of the Editorial Board of the magazine of St. George's College. The meeting with the students was unscheduled. The students called at the President's suite at the Jaypee Residency Manor at Mussoorie for the meeting.

Answering questions from the students about the LTTE, President Rajapaksa explained that the LTTE was a terrorist organization, banned in most countries and India too, because of its policy of terror and violence. The LTTE was not a liberation movement. It was clear about its goal of a
separate state, and was seeking to achieve it through violence. The LTTE had even killed the former Indian Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi. What right did any so-called liberation movement have to kill a leader of a neighbouring country, the President asked. He also said that the LTTE was not democratic, was not the sole representative of the Tamil people, and did not allow any dissent or criticism of its policies by Tamil leaders.

Commenting on regional cooperation, the President said Sri Lanka had very good relations with all SAARC countries, and was keen to strengthen good relations with all countries in the South Asian region. Questioned about relations with India, President Rajapaksa said relations between India and Sri Lanka were very good. In fact, Sri Lanka was today the third largest trading partner with India. The Free Trade Agreement between India and Sri Lanka was an example of cooperation, and he hoped that with India having a very large market, there would more access for Sri Lanka goods and produce in India.

Asked about the high literacy level in Sri Lanka the President said it was due to free education right to the conclusion of university studies. He said the Government considered it a duty to provide free education to all. He also said it will be necessary to revise syllabi to make education to be more employment oriented both in Sri Lanka and abroad, in keeping with current trends in the world.



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