US ambassador Atul Keshap has told ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa to look for another option as Gotabhaya Rajapaksa cannot contest the 2020 presidential election. Meeting him a few days ago at his Wijerama Mawatha home, Keshap briefed Mahinda about the US government stand with regard to Gotabhaya and the presidential polls. The ambassador was making a farewell call, as he is to end his term in a few days’ time.
The US Interior Ministry has initiated an investigation against its citizen Gotabhaya over a financial crime. Therefore, he cannot abandon his UN citizenship. But, he is misleading the public by saying that he will do so within two months.
Mahinda is looking for a reason to prevent Gotabhaya from contesting, and the US has now given him that reason. If a winning candidate cannot be found, Mahinda wants to take his time until such time that Namal is mature enough to contest.
Mahinda profits from Basil-Gota enmity
Meanwhile, Basil Rajapaksa too, has launched a campaign against Gotabhaya. His loyalist, MP Wimalaweera Dissanayake said in Ampara on June 24 that he would support Basil to be the candidate. Previously, Kumar Welgama and Vasudeva Nanayakkara spoke against Gotabhaya. They also criticized the remarks by the Anu Nayake of the Asgiriya Chapter.
Mahinda is making use of the Basil-Gotabhaya enmity and is attacking both through his followers. As we said before, the three Rajapaksas have broken the joint opposition and the UPFA into pieces and Mahinda is losing his big say in politics.
The SLFP’s 16 group has joined with him and they too, are attacking Basil.
Mahinda said recently that he would be able to bring Udayanga Weeratunga home and that he has been asked to do so. Being a cunning politician, that remark is a serious one. He is using the accusations against Udayanga to corner Gotabhaya.
He is collecting weapons for his arsenal against Gotabhaya and will use them at the appropriate time.
Due to the political games by Mahinda and Basil, Gotabhaya is gradually losing his followers. Only Wimal Weerawansa and Udaya Gammanpila in the JO are directly supporting him. But, both have no existence without Mahinda, and they will join either Mahinda or Basil in time.
On the other hand, a majority of Viyath Maga is angry with Gotabhaya after the seminar at Hotel Shangri-La and are distancing further away from him due to the conspiracies by Mahinda.