Rajapakse got 490,000 votes less in 2015 than he did in 2010!! In fact in the Jaffna and Vanni Districts he INCREASED his votes in 2015! He got 30,000 more votes in Jaffna and 6000 more in the Vanni in 2015! It is the SOUTH that defeated Rajapakse!! It is a bitter fact that Weerwansa cannot accept!!
Basil Rajapaksa wanted President Rajapaksa defeated and he worked closely with international forces to oust his brother, claims controversial politician Wimal Weerawansa.
“Basil Rajapaksa did every possible thing to defeat Mahinda Rajapaksa. If it wasn’t for Basil we would have won the election,” Weerawansa added.
He also noted that the country was in danger and the situation would worsen in the months to come. “All we need is a true leader to save our motherland from these forces. We don’t see any other leader who can save our country, only Mahinda Rajapaksa can do this.”
Following are excerpts:
Q: Tell us about the new political front to be formed with four coalition parties of the UPFA?
A: My party, the National Freedom Party , the Democratic Leftist Front led by Vasudeva Nanayakkara, the People’s United Front of Dinesh Gunawardena, and the Pivithuru Hela Urumaya led by Udaya Gammanpila are of the belief former President Mahinda Rajapaksa should contest as the prime ministerial candidate at the upcoming general election.
The United National Party should not run this country. We will take every attempt to make sure the UNP will not come to power. The only person who can defeat the UNP is former President Rajapaksa.
We strongly believe the SLFP should give the opportunity for Mahinda Rajapaksa to contest at the general election in April. If they are not ready to do that, the four parties I mentioned earlier will get together to think of a strategy to do that.
So far we have not finalised whether this front will be launched or not, but if there is a necessity we will not hesitate to do it either. Some think we are going to form a new party. Everyone involved in this has their own parties so there is no need to start another one.
Q: Why do you need Mahinda Rajapaksa to defeat the UNP? Don’t you have any other alternative?
A: Why do we need an alternative when we have Mahinda Rajapaksa who is a true leader? Of the 58 lakhs who voted for him, nearly 62% were Sinhala votes. In the north and east, over 70% voted for Maithripala Sirisena and it was those votes that made him win the election. If Maithripala Sirisena had only 40%, he would not become the president of this country.
The majority of the people who voted for the hansaya (swan) today regret their decision because they are not satisfied with the outcome. Some voted for the hansaya to merely hurt the SLFP, but now that they have realised their decision has killed the party altogether.
What has happened to national security in the country? It is in great danger. Earlier this week a Police officer was shot in Vavuniya. People who voted for the hansaya are disappointed. In just three weeks they have realised that although they wanted a change, things have only gotten worse from what it was.
For the sake of the country, we need to once again bring Mahinda Rajapaksa to power. He is the leader who united this country. We are not doing it for Mahinda Rajapaksa, we are doing it for our motherland.
Q: Do you agree it was Mahinda Rajapaksa’s greed to remain in power that made him a detested politician from a once-respected leader?
A: Who says he is unpopular? These are just false accusations by people who are jealous of his popularity. No one in the country believes the leader who ended the war should be sent home after two terms. That law may be applicable to any ordinary president, but Mahinda Rajapaksa is exceptional. He ended the three-decade-long war. How can we think of him as any other ordinary leader?
He had to leave when the majority, that is 62% of the Sinhalese, voted for him. He was unable to secure Tamil and Muslim votes. Actually he got more Tamil votes but Muslim votes were not in favour of him. Considering such a situation, we don’t think Mahinda Rajapaksa lost this election. People who won act as if they lost the election, because they too know who the real victor is.
The question is not whether we should bid a respectable farewell to Mahinda Rajapaksa or not. The country is heading towards destruction. The political forces at present are destroying the country. Their plan is to win the April election. They will include the SLFP and the TNA when forming a government. The JVP will be the main Opposition. Within three months they will bring a federal constitution. This is solely to entertain the Indian and Western countries. This is why the TNA is happily awaiting an election.
The country’s economy will be in a calamitous situation. Their plan is to bring a liberalistic economy. We see danger in all areas in the months to come. All we need is a true leader to save our motherland from these forces. We don’t see any other leader who can save our country. Only Mahinda Rajapaksa can do this. He united this country once and he is wanted once again to protect it from the forces who are trying to destroy it.
Q: Will the SLFP be part of this front? What is their role in bringing Mahinda Rajapaksa to power again?
A: From the day Maithripala Sirisena was made the SLFP Chairman, that party has been under house arrest. They cannot criticise the Government because they don’t want to hurt their Party Head. SLFPers cannot wait without criticising the Government because the people will not like it. This is why I say the SLFP today is under house arrest.
The only wise decision the SLFP can take is to make Mahinda Rajapaksa the prime ministerial candidate. Apart from the 58 lakhs, they can easily secure another five to six lakhs of votes and mark a clear victory at the election. But it is very unlikely the present SLFP leadership or Chandrika Kumaratunga will let that happen. Other forces who are behind them too will not allow them to do it. But we will continue to urge them to make Mahinda Rajapaksa the prime ministerial candidate.
Q: Has Mahinda Rajapaksa agreed to contest?
A: We have not spoken to him yet. Some think this was his idea, but it is not true. This is what we wanted. He has not agreed to contest, nor has he refused. This is not the time for Mahinda Rajapaksa to retire from politics. This country needs him.
Everyone is scared of him. That is why they continue to sling mud at him. Now they say Mahinda Rajapaksa has stolen gold from the gold reserve. If stealing from the gold reserve was that easy, all past presidents must have taken home lorries full of gold.
They are trying to discourage and dishearten him so he will leave all of this and go home. Whether he will accept this or not, he is the only leader fit to lead the country. At present, there is no other leader who can replace him. This is why we say we need to make him agree to do this.
Q: What are your remarks about the various corruption charges against Mahinda Rajapaksa and his Cabinet members?
A: We call it ‘Dina seeyai, mada daahai’. There are many allegations but they have failed to prove any of those allegations. How can they carry out the 100-day program? They are so busy slinging mud at others.
The former President, his wife and children, Gotabaya Rajapaksa and we are the main victims. Whoever criticises this administration is targeted. They are armed with more than enough mud and court cases. They talk about good governance. But the law is not applicable to all. They put Tissa Attanayake in jail, but Champika Ranawaka who committed a similar offense does not have any charges against him. Everyone knows who Mervyn Silva is and what he does. But why isn’t this Government taking any action against him? Because he supports them, he is allowed to roam free.
Q: There are charges against your wife of possessing two passports and submitting forged documents. Your comments?
A: My wife does not have two passports. Her earlier passport was cancelled. She has applied for both the NIC and passport on the same day. In the NIC there were some errors. It was the fault of the Identity Card Office. My wife has informed them about the errors in writing. They have corrected a part of that and the rest was left as it was.
Why are they attacking my wife? Because they want to hurt me. Since they can’t find any fault with me, they are attacking my wife. Is this good governance? Is this the ‘Maithri Palanaya’ they were talking about? But let me tell you one thing, we are prepared to face worse situations.
Q: If the accusations are baseless, why don’t you take action against them?
A: They said my wife partly owned ‘Richlook’. According to what I found out, the owner of Richlook too is going to courts against these accusations. I too have sent a letter of demand. They claimed I am building a hotel in Waga, Padukka. I haven’t been to that area for a long period of time. I sent a Letter of Demand. Even to take actions, how many charges are levelled against us? Every day they come up with some allegation. I will have to quit politics and fight against them.
There is another complaint at the Bribery Commission regarding my income. I will face that too. When I was with the JVP, they questioned about a house I had in Mawaramandiya. They gave a lot of publicity when they filed the complaint. After nearly seven months, I was cleared of all those charges. But they didn’t give any publicity to that. To date people only know that I own a building in Mawaramandiya.
Q: Why did Mahinda Rajapaksa lose? What went wrong?
A: Before the Uva Provincial Council election, we told President Rajapaksa that he needed to make some urgent changes. We clearly said we could no longer survive on the war victory and we needed to be equipped with better reasons. If the President listened to us at that time, he would have been the head of the country today.
I am not afraid to say that it was Basil Rajapaksa who prevented the President from taking any action at that time. He didn’t work to win the election. Basil Rajapaksa did every possible thing to defeat Mahinda Rajapaksa. If it wasn’t for Basil, we would have won this election.
Basil Rajapaksa had immense powers. Most Cabinet Ministers and Parliamentarians as well as Government officers were disappointed by this situation. Like I said before, if we had 2.5 lakhs more votes, we would have win this election. Basil Rajapaksa could have easily taken those votes from Gampaha.
Q: Why did Basil Rajapaksa do that? Why would he want his own brother to be defeated?
A: I personally believe he had come to an agreement with some international forces. He worked according to their directions. Why did he leave the country in such a hasty manner after the election? That proves he was in some deal.
Q: Why did Tamils and Muslims vote against Mahinda Rajapaksa?
A: Muslim politicians threatened the Muslim community claiming that if President Rajapaksa comes to power, a large number of mosques would be destroyed. They said the Bodu Bala Sena would not let Muslims live peacefully in the country. So the Muslim community was afraid to vote for President Rajapaksa.
Tamil politicians too carried out a similar strategy. The Tamil media was very active. The Tamil diaspora too was heavily involved. Erik Solheim now says finally they were able to get rid of President Rajapaksa. They did that with the help of men in red shirts and men in blue shirts. Sri Lankan political parties and other organisations who worked to defeat former President were controlled by Solheim and other international forces.
Q: What are your remarks about the already-initiated proposals of the 100-day program?
A: There is lot of talk about salaries being increased. They said the basic salary will be increased by Rs. 10,000, but they have not done that. This is only an allowance. We said the basic salary would be increased by Rs. 3,500. We were to give other allowances along with that. Therefore the total increment will come to nearly Rs. 10,000. The working class is not happy about this situation. They are not fools. This has only widened the gap between the high wage earners and minimum wage earners. Obviously high wage earners are not happy about this situation.
How are they going to find the money to do this? They have imposed some amusing taxes. We are worried that these taxes will result in closure of certain companies in the months to come. According to what I heard, companies in the telecommunication industry are already facing major problems.
They may try to collect the funds from these taxes. But what are they going to do next year? We learn that they are going to impose a 10% tax on all bank accounts. They are also planning to freeze all NRFC accounts for two years so they could use that money.
There were talks about reducing prices of essential goods. Is coriander an essential good? Is saffron an essential good? The milk power reduction is not sufficient. There was milk powder in the market at lesser price. This Budget was just an election gimmick. They are trying to hoodwink the Sinhala and rural voters. Wait and see, the much-discussed Rs. 10,000 allowance will be stopped after the election.
What happened to their promise to write-off interest payable for pawned jewellery? When people go to banks, they say they were not given any instructions.
Q: Do you think the Sirisena administration will win the upcoming election?
A: Sirisena does not have a government. It is a Ranil Wickremesinghe’s administration. Sirisena only gets to sit in the chair; the show is run by Wickremesinghe, Anura Dissanayake and Sampanthan. I have never seen such a comic administration. The JVP is the watchdog and they are the ones who dictate who goes to jail and not. In another few months Sirisena will not have whatever the little powers he is enjoying today. He will have to occupy himself in meditation or some religious activity.
We feel Sirisena is happy with Ranil Wickremesinghe serving as the prime minister. Otherwise he could have made Mahinda Rajapaksa the prime ministerial candidate. But we don’t see that happening. He is more than happy with the UNP Government. He will offer the deputy prime ministerial post to the SLFP. They will also take the TNA in. After three months a federal constitution will be brought in.
They talk about democracy. We saw what happened in the Wattala Pradeshiya Sabha. The Opposition is harassed and suppressed like never before. We are facing a grave threat of losing the unity and sovereignty that Mahinda Rajapaksa brought to this country.
Q: Can you explain your party’s future political strategy?
A: If the SLFP nominates Mahinda Rajapaksa as the prime ministerial candidate, we will support them. We will not be part of the alliance if the SLFP is headed by Maithripala Sirisena. Then we will have to think about another alternative. We are unable to say what our next move will be.
Q: Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe openly said you were responsible for the defeat of Mahinda Rajapaksa. Your comments?
A: If that was the case, he would not have openly said that. He would make me continue to work closely with President Rajapaksa in future too. These are baseless accusations. They want to put the blame on me so they can tarnish my image and destroy my political career. But people in this country know who Wimal Weerawansa is. As a Minister, I carried out my duties well. As a politician, I have done my job well. I have contributed immensely to President Rajapaksa’s Government. I have brought many votes.
Why should I get hurt over a statement made by someone like Ranil Wickremesinghe who has experienced 29 election defeats? He is joyous because he is in power, but that too was due to someone else’s victory.