Gota says ready for presidency!
Giving the clearest indication yet of his intention to run in the upcoming Presidential elections, former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has said he is ready to take up the challenge when polls are called, possibly towards the end of 2019.
Speaking at a ‘Viyathmaga’ event at Water’s Edge on Saturday,Rajapaksa argued that he advocates ‘Jathikathwaya’ over ‘Jathiwadaya’. According to him, the former is defined as inclusive and egalitarian nationalism while the latter is divisive nationalism. He contended that Sri Lankans need to embrace ‘Jathikathwaya’ to develop the country, pointing out this message needs to be delivered to the masses ahead of a likely Presidential election later this year.
“We know there should be a Presidential election this year. I am ready if you are,” Rajapaksa said to a cheering crowd at the end of his speech. During the short address, Rajapaksa called on professionals to unite to build a common identity that could be embraced by all Sri Lankans.
“I wish a peaceful and prosperous New Year not just for you but for the entire country. This is because many are of the view that the country must be directed to a better path than the one it is on now.
I believe this is the wish of both old and young as well as Sri Lankans from all strata of society. We began ‘Viyathmaga’ to gather all professionals, each and every one of them, because it was felt they are not given recognition by those governing this country.”
“In Sri Lanka, as in many other countries, ‘Jathikathwaya’ and ‘Jathiwadaya’ have been confused as one. This is not the case. If Sri Lanka is to move forward like other countries in the world, then first we must build an identity that is Sri Lankan. This is the expectation of many people in this country. Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus or Christians are first and foremost Sri Lankans, and we must reinforce this Sri Lankan identity. All of us want to move forward as Sri Lankans. We have to take this idea to the people,” he added.
Despite Sri Lanka being a low middle income country,Rajapaksa stated that poverty remains a significant challenge, which needs to be addressed with collective focus. He debated that individual rights and social issues were not mutually inclusive but focus on individual rights eclipses the focus on social problems.
“There is an ongoing discourse in Sri Lanka about a new Constitution and different ideas and views are being expressed about this. But rather than thinking of this issue in terms of the danger of a new Constitution dividingthe country, which I don’t think we can have much impact on, we first need to take the masses to a point where all people in this country identify themselves as Sri Lankan. This is a very important year. Professionals have a major responsibility to encourage the people to realise this is a very important year. Even now as much as 60% of this country believes that it is living in poverty. But most of the time, the discussion is on individual rights. Individual rights are needed but why as a society are we not talking about poverty, which is the most important thing? Our politicians do not talk about the right to create equality. The type of democracy that was popularised by the West focuses on individual rights.”
Rajapaksa maintained that creation of one Sri Lankan identity was important and pointed out other Asian leaders had used the same tactic to come to power and used it as part of an ideology to develop their nations.
“Human beings are social animals. They are not individuals. During the first 20 years of our lives, our parents look after us. During that time, we learn about our culture, our history and our country. We cannot remove those elements from our psyche. They have become embedded. But because of other influences, we have focused more on individual rights and this has led us to challenges. However, every leader who has been successful in Asia has done so by taking ‘Jathikathwaya’to the people and using it to achieve their development goals. Our country can only be developed by doing the same.”
Rajapaksa also called on professionals to champion solutions to social problems above individual rights and thereby work to increase awareness among the public for ‘Viyathmaga’ to achieve its goals.
“After completing their education, when Sri Lankans go abroad, that is when they realise what it means to be Sri Lankan. That is why many of them talk about the importance of unity, sometimes more than those who remain at home. We must understand this and as professionals, identify people’s problems. More than individual rights, identify society’s problems, the country’s problems. It is only by increasing awareness of these problems that we can reach the end we want.”
Gota and US citizenship
Speculation over former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa having handed over documents to renounce his citizenship, allowing him to contest for the Presidential elections, was denied by his spokesman yesterday.
It was alleged that Rajapaksa had handed over the documents to renounce his citizenship during his recent visit to the United States.
However this speculation was denied by his spokesman, Milinda Rajapaksa, who said that information about the former Defence Secretary’s US citizenship is not available in the public domain.
“It’s personal information and has not been made public,” the spokesman said, declining to comment on the matter.
Sources claimed that the US authorities had sent the request to its Mission in Colombo for reference. However, the US Embassy also declined to comment on whether any documents had been received by them.
(Source: Daily FT)
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Sme say Kumar Sangakkara will be the common candidate because India like it too. Can Gota give a fight to any one representing current Yahapalanaya? Even Sumanthiram who dictate terms and condition to UNP can contest but the problem is he is having dwell citizenship!
Great! Put some discipline and and backbone and some national pride to the pathetic begging nation!
This guy is a Yankee Citizen; they will never let him renounce his citizenship because there are several Court actions against him for crime and war crimes which will take a number of years to finalise.
He should have known better when he signed up for Yankee Citizenship when he was a computer technician there.
Kumar Sangakkara is a sportsman; leave him alone (he has already said so). Kumar made an excellent contribution to cricket despite the disgusting management of the sport by a Bookmaker over the past > 15 years.
As Fiery F said elsewhere in Onlanka, the R Family look pathetic in nominating a Yankee as its Presidential Candidate. The R Family should realise that there are 16 million other Sri Lankan voters who can be effective Presidential Candidates except, of course, the Pollonnaruwa P**baya.
If the R Family are true patriots as they claim to be, they should nominate someone other than a family member as the presidential Candidate.
I dare the R Family to nominate ex-NP CM, Wigneswaran as there presidential Candidate; he’s a sure winner and the International Community will be dumbfounded and shut-up forever.
Kumar Sangakkara, as Captaing of SL in the World Cup final of 2011, threw the match away.
The MS Dhoni led india won the match.
SL batted first and scored 274/6 off 5 overs. India quickly lost ther star, Tendeulkar for 18 but India turned the game dramatically thanks partly to poor fielding and bowling by Sri Lanka.
The Bookmaker Leader of SL Cricket had ensured dropping of 4 key players, Angelo Mathews, Ajantha Mendis, Rangana Herath and Chamara Silva in the final, making sure the Bookmaking Co makes super profits (probably more that the Bond Scam !!).
Soon after Kumar S was dismissed as SL Captain but continued to play as a batsman.
Kumar S did not have any Cricket Leadership; he was poor, unable to cultivate and maintain a team spirit.
By the way, look at Kohli in the current India-Aus series; look how he fosters a team spirit and encourage audience participation.
The country would prefer Tillekeratne Dilshan (now an SLPP member) as presidential candidate compared with sloppy Kumar S.
Kumara Welgama or even Dinesh Gunawardane are potentially excellent Presidential candidates.
The R family should step aside and wait for the next gen to mature. Namal Rajapaksa is showing signs of positive leadership, miles ahead of UNP’s Sajith ‘Sewing Machine’ Premadasa who continues to live in the shadow of his ‘not so illustrious’ father.
It is not at all challenging to build houses for the so-called poor using tax payer funds and distribute sewing machines extorted from businessmen,
On the contrary, Namal Rajapaksa hardly ever refers to the father but is steadfast in following the independent pathway based on a strong sense of patriotism.
I have no idea why SL people are still not educated enough.
Sanga is a sportsman, never compare the sportsmanship with leadership for the country. Infact all the issues we have in front of Cricket because of Sanga and Mahela. They didn’t give time to SLC to raise the next level. They resigned and played for their own pockets.
Airbag man is another fellow, why people follow such person without knowing how a businessmen can lead a country.
There are several incidents in world history that, not educated people lead countries to biggest heights.
People should be more educated rather than follow their feelings.
If Gota can lead the country people should support him to get rid of the citizenship he got from US.
We need people to build the country. Country is not a business or a sport.