A lesson to emulate from Singapore

Mr.Ranjith Gunaratne an officer of the Sri Lanka Overseas Foreign Service has translated the The Singapore Story by Senior Minister of Singapore Mr.Lee Kwan Yu as Singappuru Kathawa.

Both Mr.Lee Kwan Yu and His Excellency the President of Sri Lanka have given messages which are published in the book.

They are both worth reading and is of immense contemporary relevance. Below are translations of the Sinhala text.

From the Author, Senior Minister of Singapore Mr.Lee Kwan Yu:

Through The Singapore Story which is my autobiography what I seek to achieve is to remind the younger generation of Singapore nationals who have been brought up in a more comfortable environment that we need to strive hard with great dedication to change our old familiar habits. Before Singapore was firmly on the path of success, we had to change our contradictory perceptions that tended to be a divisive influence of our people who belonged to many ethnic, religious and language groups. We also had to minimise the competitive tendency that existed between Trade Unions and Employers.

What the Sinhala translation of this book makes clear to the people of Sri Lanka is that specially the Politicians of Singapore resisted and subdued any desire to address ethnic, language, cultural and religious forces with the intention of garnering votes.This enabled Singapore to avoid unnecessary, painful experiences. If ever such infuriating feelings arose they would have surely gone out of the window of logical wisdom and common good. What my generation of Singaporeans understood was this reality.

Lee Kwan Yu
1st February 2006.

From His Excellency the President of Sri Lanka:

The Singapore Story

Lee Kwan Yu is one of the great heads of state to emerge from Asia. His dedication, determination and farsightedness enabled him to bring Singapore to the forefront of nations of the the world in a very short period.

We have many lessons to learn from that remarkable country. In that multi ethnic, multi religious country, the harmony, mutual trust that exist amongst deferent groups has ensured the peace and security of that country. This has enabled them to minimise the obstacles to a great extent in their development efforts.

Therefore it is my feeling that the narrative that describes how Singapore was developed by Mr.Lee Kwan Yu is a book that every Sri Lankan should read. I greatly appreciate the effort made by Ranjith Gunaratne an officer of the Sri Lanka Foreign Service to translate this book to Sinhala to make it accessible to Sri Lankans.

Mahinda Rajapkse
President of Sri Lanka
7th April , 2007

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