Namal, son of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, issued a two-page statement tearing into MDMK chief Vaiko, PMK’s S Ramadoss and VCK leader Thol. Thirumavalavan for their comments criticizing Gotabaya’s ascension to presidency.“A few leaders in Tamil Nadu had never thought constructively about the welfare of Sri Lankan Tamils. Instead, they use the Sri Lankan Tamils as a tool to further their opportunistic political needs.
The statements by Vaiko, Thirumavalavan and Ramadoss criticizing Gotabaya’s election is nothing but an attempt to create a further rift,” Namal said in the statement in Tamil.Gotabaya, who was Defence Secretary during the last phase of the civil war in 2009 that ended the 30-year reign of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), is much disliked in Tamil Nadu for his alleged role in the crimes committed during the war.
Namal asked political leaders in Tamil Nadu to contribute their bit in uplifting the minority Tamils in Sri Lanka. Tamils live pre-dominantly in North and Eastern parts of the island which was infested by a civil war for three decades. Normalcy is limping back in these areas after the end of the war in 2009.
The statement by Namal is seen as yet another attempt by the powerful Rajapaksa family to reach out to the Tamils who are still hostile to them.
The North and Eastern parts had overwhelmingly supported Gotabaya’s rival Sajith Premadasa in the November 16 presidential polls.
Recalling a visit by a delegation of MPs from India, which included Thirumavalavan, to Sri Lanka after the war, Namal said these leaders had not just visited north and east but had also engaged with the leadership and learned from on the initiatives taken to help the minorities.
“The new president and the new government that will be formed soon will work with good intentions and in a transparent manner on all occasions. I appeal to political leaders in Tamil Nadu to stop criticizing the President and think constructively about welfare of Sri Lankan Tamils,” Namal said in the statement.
Chennai, Nov 19 | Sri Lanka MP and nephew of newly-elected President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Namal Rajapaksa, has urged Tamil Nadu politicians to shun opportunistic politics and behave responsibly for the betterment of Lankan Tamils.
Namal Rajapaksa is the son of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the elder brother of Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
He was reacting to the concerns expressed by political parties in Tamil Nadu on the election of Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
Some political parties in Tamil Nadu have expressed concern at Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s poll victory.
In a tweet, Namal Rajapaksa urged the Tamil Nadu parties to stop criticising the elected President of Sri Lanka and think about the welfare of Tamils in the island nation.
He also said that political leaders in Tamil Nadu never thought deeply about the welfare of the Lankan Tamils, but used the latter as their political dice.
Namal Rajapaksa also recalled the visit of MPs belonging to the DMK and the leader of VCK Thol Thirumalavan in 2009 and the friendly discussions they had with then President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
All the political parties in Tamil Nadu have been demanding the trial of Mahinda Rajapaksa for war crimes and human rights violations against Tamils since 2009, when the internal strife ended in the island nation with the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
Reacting to Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s electoral victory, DMK President M.K. Stalin said that Tamils all over the world, including those in Sri Lanka, were disappointed.
Stalin said the United Nations and the world knows about Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s animosity towards the Tamils.
The DMK leader also urged Gotabaya Rajapaksa to shed his enmity towards Tamils and treat them as citizens with constitutional rights.
MDMK leader Vaiko had termed the election of Gotabaya Rajapaksa as the saddest day for the Tamil race as he was the Defence Secretary when thousands of Tamils were killed in 2009.
On his part, PMK Founder S. Ramadoss said that after the election of Gotabaya Rajapaksa, a separate Tamil Eelam is the only solution for the safety and welfare of Tamils in Sri Lanka.
Ramadoss said Tamils who are treated as second class citizens in Sri Lanka would now be treated as fourth grade citizens.
He also accused Ranil Wickremesinghe of siding with the West and undermining the interests of the country.
ven as the political deadlock continues amid protests and rallies in Sri Lanka, the Rajapaksa camp is putting up a confident front.
Speaking to India Today at his office in Colombo, Namal Rajapaksa, MP from Hambantota and son of newly sworn-in Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, said that they were confident that they had the numbers to show in the event of a no-confidence motion when the parliament convenes.
“We are very confident about that because we took the decision when we had the numbers…There will not be a no-confidence motion on the 14th but we can show the numbers if needed,” he said.
Senior officials in the current dispensation have confirmed to us that on November 14 there will not be a ‘no-confidence motion’ since it would be the day of ‘Throne’s Speech’ (as followed in UK) and so the only business for that day would be the president’s speech.
Citing the Constitution, in no unclear terms the Lankan parliamentarian said that no matter what happens Ranil Wickremesinghe will not by Prime Minister.
“Well, President Sirisena has clearly said that he will not go ahead with Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister. The constitution has given the will and mandate to the President to decide who will be the Prime Minister,” he said.
On the question of how is that the two rivals have come together to form the government, Namal Rajapaksa said that his party was looking at the interest of the nation first. He said, “National interest comes first. We might have had political differences and faced hardship but at the end of the day our principles are based on our policies.”
Accusing Ranil Wickremesinghe of siding with the West and undermining the interests of the country, he hurled barbs at the ousted PM saying, “Ranil concentrated more on western interests than on Lankan interests. He is still depending on the West and not the Sri Lankan people.”
Challenging Ranil Wickremesinghe, he asked, “If the Honourable former prime minister says his removal is unconstitutional then go to court or the people. Why is he not doing that? Let’s go for election.”
While both sides are trying to ensure they have the 113 MPs required to reach the halfway mark, one critical factor would be the Tamil votes. The Sirisena camp managed to get one out of the 16 TNA (Tamil National Alliance) MPs onto their side but the rest have resolved to vote against Mahinda Rajapaksa.
“We are willing to engage with the Tamil parties but unfortunately, they are not engaging their own Tamil community. They represent their own interest and the party’s not the Tamil community. Majority of the Tamil parties do not represent their own people. TNA as a political party does not represent the Tamil people of Sri Lanka,” said Namal accusing the Tamil leaders of looking at their own interests.
Finally, India is watching very closely the political turmoil that has grappled this island nation. Namal Rajapaksa tried to address India’s concerns regarding the belief that Mahinda is considered close to China.
“We are looking for a better future. We want India-Sri Lanka relationship to be robust and resilient. We are neighbours. Economic relationship is what matters in modern day. The relationship with China is purely based on investments,” he said.
Maithripala Sirisena, Mahinda Rajapaksa to decide on fate of Tamil prisoners in Sri Lanka ‘soon’, says PM’s son Namal
Colombo: Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa’s legislator son Namal on Sunday indicated that the long-held demand of the Tamil minority community to release all Tamil prisoners may be fulfilled soon, a move aimed at persuading the Tamil legislators to support Rajapaksa.
“President (Maithripala) Sirisena and Prime Minister Rajapaksa would make a decision (on the issue) very soon,” Namal tweeted in Tamil.
Since the war with the LTTE ended in 2009, the Sri Lankan government has denied that those imprisoned LTTE members are political prisoners. Tamils say some of the prisoners have been held over a long time under the anti-terrorism law without even being formally charged.
Namal’s comments are aimed at persuading the legislators in Sri Lanka’s main Tamil party — Tamil National Alliance (TNA) — to switch their allegiance to Rajapaksa in his bid to prove majority in the parliament.
So far Rajapaksa has 100 MPs on his side while sacked prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has 103 MPs in the 225-member assembly. Most of the 22 remaining MPs, including the TNA, are likely to oppose Rajapaksa.
Rajapaksa camp had already enticed a TNA legislator to join ranks by giving him a deputy ministerial position. The TNA’s parliamentary strength has been reduced to 15 as a result, and there was speculation that at least 4 more of them were willing to support Rajapaksa.
The TNA has said it will support a no-trust motion Rajapaksa, amid mounting pressure on President Maithripala Sirisena to let the suspended parliament hold a vote to end the ongoing political crisis. In a statement, the TNA on Saturday said Rajapaksa’s appointment was a violation of the Constitution’s 19th amendment.
The alliance had “decided to vote in favour of the no-confidence motion against Rajapaksa,” the statement said.
Rajapaksa claims he has enough numbers to prove his majority and at least six of Wickremasinghe’s men have defected to his side. The current suspension of parliament by the president is seen as a key to Rajapaksa negotiating for enough defections.
Wickremesinghe was sacked by President Sirisena on 26 October. His United National Party claims that Wickremesinghe’s sacking was “unconstitutional and illegal”. The president’s move has plunged the country into a constitutional crisis with Wickremesinghe claiming he is still the prime minister.
Protesters say they want the government to stop delaying provincial elections. However, the country’s home minister argues the protests led by former president Rajapaksa are meant to draw attention away from a corruption probe into his family.
Thousands of Sri Lankan opposition demonstrators led by former leader Mahinda Rajapaksa blocked a main road in Colombo on Wednesday in protest at economic hardship and the delaying of provincial polls.
Police did not give an estimate but independent analysts said the number of demonstrators in the capital could be well over 15,000, mainly from rural Sri Lanka.
They blocked a main road near the finance and defence ministries, disrupting traffic, and thousands also gathered on nearby streets late into the evening.
The coalition government of President Maithripala Sirisena’s centre-left Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP) is under fire for sluggish economic growth.
The opposition said the protest was to force the government to hold delayed provincial council polls. The authorities have said the delays are due to deliberations about a possible new electoral system.
“The people’s democratic rights are being violated by postponing elections,” said Rajapaksa at the protest.
“The situation is going from bad to worse. The country is heading towards an autocratic form of governance rather a democratic rule. Therefore, it is our responsibility to restore democracy by forming a new government.”
Namal Rajapaksa, the legislator son of the former leader, said the protest was the first step towards bringing down the government and forcing it to hold early national elections.
“People are frustrated against unreasonable taxes and economic hardships,” Namal said.
The government, however, said the protest was nothing to do with provincial council elections or economic suffering.
“They want to divert the focus of misappropriation probes against their legislators and stop the ongoing state mechanisms,” Junior Home Affairs Minister JC Alawathuwala told reporters in Colombo.
Nalin Bandara, junior public administration minister, said the government had advised the 5,000 police deployed for the protest to allow opposition supporters to practise their democratic rights and freedom of expression.
The coalition government has initiated probes against Rajapaksa’s family members including his two brothers and sons and many allies in relation to alleged corruption and financial misappropriation. However, the investigations are going slowly and the opposition has said they are politically motivated.
Rajapaksa was ousted in 2015 amid allegations of human rights abuses, threatening journalists and rights defenders, and corruption. Rajapaksa and his family deny any wrongdoing.