26 May, 2024


Special Statement By Prime Minister Rajapaksa Regarding The Current Situation – Full Text

Friends and citizens of Sri Lanka.

I speak to you at a crucial time as we grapple with many challenges that have overcome our people. These challenges are not new to me having overseen the journey our nation has undertaken in my fifty plus years of politics.

Friends, I am sure by now that you are very aware of the deep economic crisis that has befallen our country following the battle we fought, to keep our citizens safe from the Coronavirus pandemic.

Although we ensured the safety of the lives of the people from the pandemic, we were unable to avoid falling into this economic abyss.

Needless to say, with the closure of our international borders and the travel ban within the country, foreign exchange inflows were halted and subsequently, foreign reserves dried up as they were used up for sustenance.

You know the situation has become serious when tankers providing fuel have arrived at the port, but we are unable to clear it for want of foreign exchange.

My mind goes back to when I addressed you following the 2010 presidential election after the culmination of the war.

I promised you a future free of power cuts.

Power plants were built for this purpose in an effort to ensure the fulfillment of those promises. However, because the previous government stalled the development of these projects, we were not been able to fulfill those expectations and upkeep those assurances.

That is the truth.

I understand the fatigue of the people who have been queuing for days in the fuel queues and empathize with the pain of our citizens queuing up for gas. I feel that pain.

We intimately understand the suffering of the people in the face of the skyrocketing price of goods.

Friends, although we have extended an invitation to all parties to come forward in unity to address the current situation, they have not stepped forward. This is not a time to prioritize party affiliations over the resurrection of the country’s economy. With this call being unanswered, we as the party commanding a majority have taken up this responsibility. We will overcome these challenges.

30 years of a terrorist threat and the fear of death that existed among the people of this country was eradicated; not to further endanger the people and to relegate them to a fate of hardship and pain.

We built highways, modern roads and infrastructure – not so that you can stand in queues on those roads.

We built ports, not to suffocate supply chains and halt tankers carrying fuel because we’re unable to pay for it.

When thousands died in neighboring countries due to the Coronavirus, treatment centers equipped with facilities were mobilized. Indigenous medicines such as Koththamalli were dispensed, medicines were given and the whole country was largely vaccinated.

All this was done, not so that our people would be victimized by tear gas and bullets.

Historically, we have spared no sacrifice to protect our people from every challenge. As in times past, we will make every effort to overcome this crisis.

Friends, this government restricted taking loans from international stakeholders and prioritized working with and empowering our people to make Sri Lanka a debt free country.

This government has always strived to protect the independence of the country even from international influences under trying circumstances, to the point that at times, we withdrew opportunities to bring in large scale investments to Sri Lanka when public opinion dictated so.

Friends our responsibility is to uphold the sovereignty of the people. We will never take decisions that will undermine the democracy, the country’s governance structure or its Supremacy.

We work with that purpose in mind. In politics we are accustomed to letting go.

Friends, the chant ‘No 225 in Parliament’ today echoes through the streets. That immediately translates to a rejection of this democratic system. While it may sound good, I urge you to understand its danger from a historical perspective.

We have witnessed the tragedy of the bombing of Parliament and attempts to destroy it. The blood of our youth flowed along the streets as those parties rejected democracy. Thousands of young people were burned alive in tires as that movement took wind. So much so that 1988/1989 proved to be the darkest age in our history as this rebellion claimed over 60,000 young lives.

Your elders will remember the massive effort we put in to saving those young lives then. I want to remind the youth of the North as well as the South about it.

Your parents will attest to the bloody past that shrouded our history.

A movement was birthed in the North of our country during the 1970s and 1980s by the youth who killed elected people’s representatives on the streets as they protested governance, by declaring their refusal for elections and a parliament. The ensuing distress affected not only those in the North but also those in the South of Sri Lanka for over 30 years due to that political movement. Tens of thousands paid with their lives as landmines and bullets claimed Sri Lanka’s children.

People lost their homes and gradually, school children began to take to the streets in protest. The next inevitable step was to forcibly conscript school children into this evil war.

I urge our sons and daughters this evening to consider this carefully and protect our nation from once again slipping into a time as dark as that in our history, through these actions.

Friends, we are embarking on an enormous program to overcome the crisis we face today. Every second spent by the President and this government is used up exhausting avenues to rebuild our country.

This government has historically imbued our farmers with the highest relief packages to aid their industry. However, today the farmers stand against us.

No matter how honorable the notion of organic fertilizer is, it is not the time for it to be implemented. As such, we will be reinstating the fertilizer subsidy to once again equip our farmers to optimize their craft.

The country needs to urgently recover from this debilitating crisis which includes the unbearable cost of living and the requisite shortages.

Even if it is not possible within the next two or three days, we have initiated action to address these crises with the highest urgency.

Friends, every second you protest on the streets, our country loses opportunities to receive potential dollars. The reform that is being sought is currently secondary to the collective responsibility and the urgency that is required to stave off this crisis.

To facilitate this, we have extended an open invitation all those who have the courage to join us in serving our great nation. Remember that the country right now needs the patience of all of us to endure this hardship a little while currently.

Dear Daughter, Dear Son, we know that you all love your homeland passionately. I undertook many miles of protest walks in the past for the sake of the youth who were being oppressed from the violence that was prevalent. However, the infinite grains of sand that I trampled do not begin to compare with the humiliation and insults that my family and I have been levelled with. We can bear it. We can face it.

My one humble plea is that you do not harass or insult those who serve in the police of the tri forces who have dutifully served our country.

Remember that today you walk the streets without fear of oppression protesting, because those war heroes sacrificed their lives to save this country for you.

Keep in mind that these very same war heroes came back to battle for you during the recent pandemic.

My Sons and Daughters, I see how proudly you wave our national flag during your protests, and it fills my heart with joy. However, do not forget those who laid the foundation for that flag to be freely hoisted anywhere in our homeland.

Today, despite the many challenges, there is one thing is not lacking -our courage, and determination to once again fight this crisis together. We will fight and we will overcome, as we have in times past.

May the blessings of the noble Triple Gem be with you.

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Latest comments

  • 11

    Would have been a good going-away speech.

    Mahinda, we loved you/love you still. But Motherland is a Democracy. Leaders change at the behest of the People! And the People ARE suffering.

    The mistake you made was taking ownership of the country and becoming too personal and emotional about it. Emotions towards the country is the prerogative of the People! You were a temporary guardian who tried – tried very hard. You failed.

    By the teachings of the Buddha, Disperse all Aggregates; One’s body is fragile and full of filthy things; All beings definitely experience the death.

    You should step down with graciousness and leave in peace.

    • 14

      “Mahinda, we loved you/love you still.”

      You have too much love to give gal!

      Your mind has turned into popcorn ……….. too much hanging around with Old Codger.

      • 8

        Frienda and citizens of Silly Lanka, DHAN SEPHADA.

        • 7

          I just did not bother reading but zoomed in , to see what is in his hand ?? Just curious, who wrote this speech for poor Mahinda , If not DJ then it has to be Austin. F.

        • 9

          Sorry my friends and citizens of Silly Lanka, yesterday in my SPECIAL statement I forgot to mention “we Lankans have decided to default on entire 51 Billion external debt” I hope this will make you happy. See you soon with more happy news.

      • 0

        Well, ……ummm……i’m trying to be kind.

    • 3

      ramona therese fernando, you are an idiot. You have always been an idiot and continue to be an idiot. At least you are consistent in your stupidity. Keep it up!!

  • 16

    Mahinda old pal,

    Who are you kidding? Maybe some of your pathetic die hard supporters will believe you but you are pissing in the wind. It’s your f*****g greed that is the root cause & you should ask for forgiveness & hand back the wealth you have plundered from the country. At least that will provide some debt relief & maybe the citizens will pardon you & your despicable family.

  • 15

    Mahinda you spoke about Northern youths taking arms aka LTTE
    You spoke about Southern youths taking arms aka JVP
    How both were crushed.
    But you didn’t say anything about the alleged ISIS Easter Sunday attack
    you don’t look well – are you suffering from memory loss?
    or is it closer to Easter and perhaps you are feeling guilty

  • 12

    Appachi’s moona showing he is seriously ill both mentally and physically. This is his last attempt. Despite the billions abroad his worry is about how to escape with his family and goons. This time it is not sinhalese or Tamils or muslims are agianst you guys but all Sri lankans.

  • 10

    “I am sure by now that you are very aware of the deep economic crisis that has befallen our country following the battle we fought, to keep our citizens safe from the Coronavirus pandemic.”
    Mahinda Mama,
    I think you may have only new now that the country is falling into deep economic crisis but people already knew when you shared all ministries within the control of your family and cronies who had a record of crimes and corruption. Your brother tried to give few speeches and now he is silent and asked you to give a racist fundamentalist speech in order to create violence against innocent civilians. People are suffering for their food and medicine and you are talking about your 50 years of cheating the country and people. Thousands of people have lost their lives and shed blood for your greedy power. Enough is enough. Please go home.

  • 2

    “My Sons and Daughters, I see how proudly you wave our national flag during your protests, and it fills my heart with joy. However, do not forget those who laid the foundation for that flag to be freely hoisted anywhere in our homeland.”
    anywhere in our homeland – you mean NE as well?
    he is only proud of the flag – he is not prod of the Sons and Daughters protesting peacefully in heavy rain and hot sun day after day

  • 3

    Suggest heed the ‘Clarion Call’, better if all the siblings, Off-springs and acolytes take leave of SL, before the patients of the people run out to a safe place and enjoy the loot as long as you can!!
    No more cover ups and long stories!.
    We know all the games played by the R Bros Inc., from 2004 onwards with Tsunami Funds, RDA funds to LTTE to ensure no voting in NE SL for you to win and the 2018 Easter Sunday stunt, blaming the Muslims and ISIS!!!
    Go home now with all and enjoy life to the ultimate – suggest somewhere else!! Certain the sincere ally NS (implying CiC) has already arranged suitable aboard in safe Haven!!
    Heed the call, never too late. It certainly is not!! Though the window of opportunity is fading!!!

  • 2

    Mahinda, dear friend,
    “Although we ensured the safety of the lives of the people from the pandemic, we were unable to AVOID FALLING INTO THIS ECONOMIC ABYSS.”
    Please do not think, that Sri Lankans are fools and Matti Motta Modaya!
    That thinking of Thakkadiyas, liken to those who started Chilaw, ‘fight’ with antigovernment peaceful protestors??!!
    1. You and the government you led, fell “INTO THIS ECONOMIC ABYSS” in 2010
    2. During the Post War Euphoria, where everybody, including you and your acolytes had only the ‘War you Won’, was the subject of all conversations!
    3. The public were blindsided by that victory and didn’t adduce much interest of projects initiated by exalted ‘Ruler’
    4. All warnings of intellectuals and known economists were “Binned” as not relevant
    5. The Pandemic was a happening commencing 2020 – January 2022. No Relevance!
    6. Conveniently avoided any mention and Tsunami Damage reconstruction for debacle; because it would rekindle the memories of Help Hambantota Fund (HHF) aggrandisement!
    Smart indeed but not very smart!!
    You did that, pretext, Sri Lankans are fools.
    They are not. Aware of aggrandisement and related foul deeds of the Messiah!
    Own up if repentant.
    You can’t “FOOL ALL, ALL THE TIME”

  • 4

    Let us go through the special statement of MR for a special occasion. Keep in mind MR is addressing the protesting youth (Google generation) and not the usual retarded fan followers of his. 1)”These challenges are not new to me in my 50 + years in politics”. May be not to you,but definitely for those suffering citizens, throughout country. Could you tell us the last time we were is such crisis in 50 years of your politics. I feel the challenge here is for you to cause such crisis. 2) The battle we fought to keep our citizen safe during pandemic, though we ensured safety we fell into abyss”. Good one MR , just like the old adage “operation success but patient failed”. If we go through the whole statics of pandemic provided by you, it’s clear Lanka was one of the least affected countries. Also there is no single country which has fell into abyss as we did, just because of pandemic. In most countries closure of international borders and travel ban were implemented based on extensive studies and recommendations from experts in different field. Whereas you and your brothers, like in all matters, took decisions, refusing and resisting advise from the medical community. (cont)

    • 4

      ( cont) Initially you and your brothers used the lock down and restrictions for electoral advantage. Thereby effectively preventing any campaigning by the opposition but promoting your candidates in the pretext of Covid relief. You’ll continued to abuse the media for campaigning more than preventing pandemic. You distorted the statistics including death rate the same way you used foreign reserve to artificially prop up LKR , created anti Muslim sentiments and allowed your cronies to make money out of everything including , essential food, medicine, oxygen and hospital bed. 3) “power plants were built but developments were stalled by previous govt”. Come again. You were in power for 16 out of 20 years and you somehow came up with this excuse. If at all it is you and your cronies, in the pretext of being a partner of govt, but sitting independent/ opposition did all the stalling. Isn’t it an irony many of your cronies now wanting to sit independent of you.

      • 3

        (cont) When thousands died in neighboring countries we provided treatment centers equipped with facilities, koththamalli and vaccines. How none them are in same situation as us, and worst affected country provided oxygen and medicines for you then and now providing rice, loans and fuel. No neighbor is anywhere close to our misery as you say except Pakistan for different reasons. They managed to get Imran out, hoping for a recovery. Whereas you and your brother refuse to leave.

        • 7

          “When thousands died in neighboring countries we provided treatment centers equipped with facilities, koththamalli and vaccines.”
          Cleverly distorted statistics. At the height of the pandemic, our death rate per capita was higher than India’s.

          • 1

            I doubt the accuracy of the death figures. I know from affected parties that most deaths during 2021 were recotded as COVI-19 deaths.
            The government had an agenda, namely to intimidate the public and more recently to flog a certain vaccine nearing its expiry date but held in large quantity by the health authorities.
            This was in sharp contrast to the policy in much of 2020.
            Who is not tampering with statistics? There is wholesale blocking off of sources of information on the Internet, especially of uncomfortable truths.
            But for a few half truths, it is a tolerably sane comment by MR, given the difficult situation.

        • 6

          We offered minister post but no one wants to join us in forming interim government. Hello there didn’t opposition time and again warn you about Covid threat, lockdown, vaccination and importantly economic meltdown. Your brother was arrogant egoistic and so stupid, refused to listen . You made fun of SP.. you’ll refused outright to talk to TNA. Why the F you think anyone will want to join you.

  • 10

    The protesters are shouting Gota Go Home, why? He cannot simply be sent home. This murderous rascal should be pulled out of his residence and sent to the Hague and tried for war crimes and all the murders of journalists in Colombo such as our great Lasantha. This rascal even put the army chief (SF) in jail on some trumped up charges. How can this scoundrel be sent home? The main question is where is his home? California?

  • 2

    Trying to intimidate and threaten the protesting youth in vain, MR wants to move to plan B, that is talking to them. The brothers may go back to playing good and bad cop (GR/MR). Haven’t we heard when Gotha killed youth from South, MR went with hidden files to Geneva to protest , as a cunning/ aspiring politician.

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