JHU provincial council candidate and UPFA Group Leader in the Western Province, Udaya Gammanpila has compared the allegations mounting against Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa to the allegations cast against Lord Buddha, Mahatma Gandhi and Jesus during their time.
In an interview with the Daily Financial Times newspaper on Wednesday, Gammanpila said Gotabaya Rajapaksa was his hero and that the allegations piling up against the official about the war and corruption would not change that.
Asked by the interviewing journalist if he was disturbed by his “hero’s” alleged links with the criminal world, supporting hardline religious groups and safeguarding drug leaders and the notion that he is more powerful than the President, Gammanpila issued the following reply.
“I don’t know the veracity of these accusations. I don’t say he is a perfect person. He may not be a perfect person. But his achievement for the nation is unmatched. Without him we would not have achieved this as far as I read the war against the LTTE. As we know during Gautama Buddha’s time there were lots of allegations against him. The first hero in my life is Gautama Buddha. Second hero is Mahatma Gandhi. I am not going to compare Gotabaya Rajapaksa with Gautama Buddha or Mahatma Gandhi. They are at different levels. Buddhists believe Buddha means the perfect one. Gautama Buddha was under serious allegations. We are Buddhists and we know the Buddhist version of the story. It is the same with Mahatma Gandhi. Subash Chandra Bose was a heavy critic of Mahatma Gandhi. Communists considered him as a traitor of India. But for me Mahatma Gandhi was a living God. Take Jesus; not only he was subject to allegations but he was killed because of those allegations. There has been nobody in this world free from allegations. I am looking at the good things he has done for the country. There is no hard evidence for me to believe that he has done any bad things for the nation.”
Under heavy criticism for allowing the public official to launch his election campaign, Gammanpila maintains in the interview that he does not believe Gotabhaya Rajapaksa violated any regulations governing the public service because he is a political appointee.