Bush was an extraordinary leader

Following letter sent by the author to President George W Bush

by Ranil Wickremesinghe

( December 2, 2018, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) It is with deep sadness that I write to extend my sincere condolences to you, to the entire Bush family and to the American people on the passing of your father, the forty-first President of the United States of America, the Honorable George Herbert Walker Bush.

He was an extraordinary leader, and his life was one that was dedicated wholeheartedly to public service. As a decorated Naval aviator, diplomat, Vice President, and President of the United States, he fulfilled the multiple duties, tasks and assignments he undertook and were called upon to undertake in his life, with a sense of commitment and dedication that inspired us all, and will continue to inspire many generations of Americans as well as young people around the world.

With remarkable diplomatic skill, President George H.W. Bush mobilised a multinational force in August 1990, working with the United Nations and ensuring the leadership of the UN in the liberation of Kuwait.

An active member of the International Democrat Union, he always stood and worked for a world order based on democracy and the rule of law. His contributions to the transition of the world order with the end of the Cold War, as well as arms control, will always be recalled with much gratitude by people around the world. He earned the trust and respect of world leaders and all those whose lives he touched. In so doing, he raised the stature of the United States of America in the eyes of the world.

Always during his Presidency and thereafter he maintained an interest in Sri Lanka, visiting our country on your behalf following the December 2004 Tsunami. Apart from leading fund raising efforts, he took the time to interact with child survivors, providing them solace and much needed inspiration when they were suffering from deep anguish.

The loss of two great leaders of stature, your father and Senator John McCain, within months of each other, is a grievous loss not only for the United States of America, but for the world at large.

At this time of loss and national mourning, while offering you and your family, our thoughts and prayers, I hope that your father’s life of dedicated service will inspire generations of young people in the United States of America and throughout the world to embrace the noble values that he stood for.

Ranil Wickremesinghe, Leader of the United National Party and the sitting Prime Minister of the Government of Sri Lanka

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