Dressed in maroon with his famous satakaya, a beaming former President Mahinda Rajapaksa today declared that when he regains power from the Yahapalanaya government, he will make sure to return everything the current regime has stolen from the people.
Amidst loud chanting from supporters at a rally in Nugegoda this evening, Rajapaksa who was identified as the 6th Executive President of the country at the event, also went on to accuse the Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe led coalition government of cheating people, which left him no choice but to return even though he originally wanted to retire from politics after losing the Presidential Election in 2015.
The rally which brought people in bus loads from various parts of the country was also an event to portray Rajapaksa as the de facto leader of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), which is currently headed by Sirisena.
“Today, when the leaders see this crowd, I wonder from which side they must be crying,” Rajapaksa who was continuously identified as the 6th President of Sri Lanka at the event said. Incidentally, even after Shirani Bandaranayake was impeached by Parliament and removed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa in 2013, some media which were against the move continued to identify her as the 43rd Chief Justice.
He also recalled how on this very day, he was adjudged the winner of the presidential election in 2010, but then lost in 2015 to Maithripala Sirisena, and after being defeated he left for Madamulana, his residence in Hambantota with the hope of retiring. “But then all of you including Dinesh, Vasu and Wimal urged me to come back, but more important it is because of Maithripala Sirisena himself that I have had to return instead of retiring, because of his doings,” Rajapaksa said.
He accused the coalition government of trying to introduce a Constitution detrimental to the country and its sovereignty. “They promised to end the executive presidency and grant Parliament all powers, but that’s not what they did. Instead they are selling our country, they are selling our lands and state enterprises,” he said.
“From Hambantota to Trincomalee, Palali, Kankasanthurai to Colombo, every part is being sold. Since coming to power they have taken loans of up to Rs. 10,500 million and there is no record of what they done with these monies,” he said. They keep saying that they are paying my debt, but my debt was taken on all loan term loans.
He also claimed that the government has decided to sell 8 acres of land in Colombo to a foreigner and the gazette in this regard was presented in Parliament today. “They are being traitors for selling our country,” he said
But he was quick to add that his camp was watching everyone who was buying the country’s land. Rajapaksa also issued an outright warning to all the buyers to be ‘very careful’.
He also castigated the people behind the Treasury bond scam at the Central Bank and went onto say that the thieves behind the scam were today busy buying television stations, radio stations and even newspapers as well as bank shares from the monies they stole from the people. “But we are telling them, when we come to power, all those they bought from stolen money will be confiscated and given back to the people. So we are telling them to also be very careful,” he added.
He added that both corruption and robbery were the most significant traits in the Yahapalanaya government. “We are not saying this, it’s the world that is saying it,” Rajapaksa said while quoting the corruption index released by Transparency International recently. “We were in the 80s and now under this government, our country’s standing has gone down to 96, because corruption has increased in the past year and the country has gone backwards,” he said.
He also accused the government of attempting to prosecute war heroes by bringing in foreign judges. “We won’t let this happen. We won’t let them hunt down our war heroes who helped bring peace to this country,” he declared.