Sri Lanka: Rajapaksa says he lost presidency owing to a conspiracy!
-Dr. Abdul Ruff Colachal
Former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa who lost power following his stunning defeat in last month’s presidential election has vowed to return to government by becoming the prime minister. Rajapaksa was crushed very badly by his own minister in the government and former ally said he would contest for prime minister later this year and return to active politics.
Rajapaksa had long expressed his desire to become prime minister of the island nation now said at a rally that he is unable to ignore the wishes thousands of supporters urging him to return that. Rajapaksa who began ruling the country arrogantly claimed that he lost the presidency because of a result of a conspiracy, however citing no evidence to corroborate his argument. “What we are experiencing today is not a defeat but a result of a conspiracy,” he said in a message read out at the rally. “I say firmly that I am in anyway unable to ignore the wishes of those of you who think about the country and are committed for the country.”
Rajapaksa was defeated by former ally Maithripala Sirisena in a most unexpected manner in the January 8 election. His Singhalese supporters say Rajapaksa, who ended a decades-long civil war during his nine-year rule, must return because the new government has endangered the country’s unity by being lenient toward ethnic minority Tamils.
Rajapaksa said his supporters asked him to contest for prime minister in elections likely to be held in July.
Wimal Weerawansa, a lawmaker calling for Rajapaksa’s return, said the new government’s moves to lift travel restrictions to the former northern war zone, plans to release land occupied by the military and a promise to the UN to conduct its own inquiry into war crimes allegations against government troops and the defeated Tamil Tiger rebels in the final months of the fighting in 2009 risked the country’s unity.
Rajapaksa and his supporters do want any considerations to be given to the Tamils and other minorities, although Rajapaksa people gave a verdict to support the minorities as well. In fact, Tamils and Muslims and other minorities, fed up with the Rajapaksa style of rule by sharing power with his family members, overwhelmingly voted for Sirisena.
It is known fact that Rajapaksa mercilessly used Muslims against Tamils and vice versa and exploited the plight of Tamils among the Singhalese population. He also exploited the war victory to silence even the Singhalese and the people taught him a lesson.
Clearly, Rajapaksa is deeply worried about a possible indictment by war crime tribunal of UN that is likely to investigate the war on Tamils and he wants to avert that to happen by being the PM of the country.
If Rajapaksa is sure he has or his family members have not committed any crimes why should he be fearful?
After all President Sirisena wants to provide justice too all affected peole. Justice needs to be done.
Sirisena has promised to prune presidential powers and empower the parliament under a prime minister who will be the head of government.