Former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday (12) said he is not eligible to be the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka because he is a US citizen.
He was speaking to journalists at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) after returning to the country from the US, following the victory of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) at the Local Government Elections.
With regard to accepting an offer from the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) to be sworn in as the Prime Minister, Rajapaksa said, “I have not decided to come into the political arena thus far. Furthermore, since I am an American citizen, I cannot hold the position of Prime Minister.”
The former Defence Secretary welcomed the victory of the SLPP at the Local Government Elections. He added that the people have realized the truth about the current Government’s propaganda. “Everyone has understood the value of the former President and incumbent Parliamentarian Mahinda Rajapaksa. Many people believe the false allegations levelled at him. But after three years, the truth has been revealed.” he said.
Rajapaksa further added, “It is Mahinda Rajapaksa who should decide if there should be any political change in the future.”
Furthermore, following the SLPP’s victory, Gotabaya Rajapaksa updated his official Facebook account. He said, “The people have spoken and the message is clear. They cannot be fooled all the time. My heartfelt gratitude goes out to all Sri Lankans who braved all odds to cast their ballot for our motherland.”
Meanwhile, the ‘Eliya’ Organization, which is backed by Gotabaya Rajapaksa told Ceylon Today that rather than a mandate, the SLPP victory can be considered as people expressing their disapproval at the way the current Government operates.
‘Eliya’ National Convener Medagoda Abayatissa Thera said that the majority of the people had voted for the SLPP because they did not have another choice to oppose the current Government. The Local Government Elections results are a great sign for all the parties that show the path they should take in time to come, the Thera noted.
“That is why the SLPP should act according to patriotic principles for the sake of the people. If they are also going to take bribes and other kinds of gratifications who else will be there for the people? Therefore, we will try to make them agree with a list of principles in the near future,” he added.
He further said, “The SLPP winning the election is a good start for the country, but the threat of passing a new Constitution is still there. The hunting of war heroes also is still there. So, the SLPP will have to perform their duty to protect the country and its people.”
When asked about the possibility of the former Defence Secretary contesting in the Presidential Election in 2020, the Thera said that it is too early to come to such conclusions.
“The people believe in Gotabaya Rajapaksa because he is suitable for the post. If he comes from the patriotic side, we will definitely give our full support to him,” he said.
(Source: Ceylon Today – By Methmalie Dissanayake)