Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared today that even if the government jailed him and his entire family, he will continue to fight for the rights of the people.
“If they think they can intimidate me and get me out of politics by arresting my children, then they are mistaken. Even if they jail my entire family, and me, we will continue our fight for the people. We won’t give up and no one can stop us,” Rajapaksa declared while addressing a large gathering at the joint opposition rally held in Hyde Park, Colombo this evening.
Rajapaksa went on to say that at the time he gave over the country to the new administration after his nine year rule, he had made it among the strongest in Asia, only second to China. “Today see the state our country is in. They give excuses saying I took loans, but for all the loans I took I ensured that development took place,” Rajapaksa noted.
Listing out the loans he took during his tenure as President, Rajapaksa said, “I took a US $ 190 million loan for the Mattala Airport, which was done, I took US $ 426 million for the Hambantota Port, which was also done. I took US $ 1340 million for the Norochcholai coal power plant and that was done. Then I took US $ 630 million for the Colombo – Matara expressway and US $ 248 million for the Colombo – Katunayake expressway and those were completed too.”
While emphasizing that he had taken the above amount as loans over a period of nine years, he accused the current administration of obtaining loans to the tune of a staggering US $ 6361 million in just one year. “How the record?,” he asked, while demanding the government to show the people even a single canal they may have built from these loans.
“They say I took loans, and that I hid it. You try to go to a shop and ask for a loan and see if they will give you a loan without recording it?,” he told the mass gathering at the rally.
“I don’t understand what the big problem is, if I took loans on the sly and there is no record, then they don’t even have to pay it back, so why are they screaming about it if there is no record of such transactions, which means then they don’t have to pay it back,” he declared amidst loud cheering. (By Munza Mushtaq © Colombo Telegraph)