In a speech that is remarkably different from his public speeches after January 2015, former Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa asked for a two thirds majority for Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Parliamentary election early next year.
Speaking at an “Eliya” forum in Kalutara, this afternoon, Rajapaksa said his brother needed a two thirds majority to ensure stability in the country and continue with Rajapaksa-style development that prevailed before his family fell out of power, nearly four years ago.
Gotabaya said the current government had failed in every aspect of governance – especially in launching mega development projects.
“When an election is announced the UNP and some other parties are going to Supreme Court against it. What is the democracy they want to achieve without holding elections?” Rajapaksa asked hitting out at the UNP’s attempts to challenge President Maithripala Sirisena‘s unconstitutional dissolution of Parliament in the apex court.
“We have given the opportunity to the people to elect a stable government. There is no stronger step than this to strengthen democracy in the country,” he said questioning if those who clamour about democracy actually know the meaning of it.
When Gotabaya Rajapaksa made a public appearance today, there was a noticeable difference in his body language. The former Secretary to the ministry of Defence , the man who ran the defence apparatus under the previous government, often projected a amicable persona when he made public speeches after the Rajapaksa family fell out of power in January, 2015. Today, when he made a speech at the Kalutara meeting, Rajapaksa hardly smiled or exchanged light banter with the audience, demonstrating that he had reverted to his “pre-2015 self” in less than two weeks after his brother assumed office as the Prime Minister in the purported government.
Meanwhile, the speech made by retired senior military officer Kamal Gunaratne at the same event also signalled that the project to position Gotabaya Rajapaksa as a presidential candidate for 2020 was still alive.
Launching a scathing attack on former Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s move to co-sponsor the UNHRC resolution in Geneva to promote accountability and reconciliation, Gunaratne said it was the “greatest betrayal” he had seen in his lifetime.
He also criticised the CID’s action on military officers who committed crimes during the Rajapaksa administration, describing the law enforcement process as “Ranaviru Dadayama”. He said over 10 military officers were still languishing in jail as victims of the Wickremesinghe government’s “witch-hunt.”
During his long speech glorifying the conduct of the Army, Gunaratne expressed hopes that the fears of “foreign prosecution of war heroes” would soon be fully resolved, with Rajapaksa’s family’s ascension to power.
Gunaratne, the man who once insisted that the “traitors” who attempt to divide the country introducing a new constitution must be killed, also made a speech at the same event signalling that the project to position Gotabaya Rajapaksa as a presidential candidate for 2020 was still alive.