Parliamentarian Mahinda Rajapaksa betrayed the country like Don Juan Dharmapala, Skills Development and Vocational Training State Minister Palitha Range Bandara said.
He was addressing the media at Siri Kotha yesterday. “Mahinda Rajapaksa betrayed the country while entering into an agreement with a Chinese company through the proposed Port City project. While entering into the agreement, Rajapaksa has approved to offer the sole ownership of a land plot of the proposed Port City to China,” the state minister said.
“It is undoubtedly a betrayal of the country to a foreign nation.Nevertheless, he pretends to be the country’s greatest patriot,” he said.
“However, through a joint effort of the President and the Prime Minister, an amended agreement will be implemented and accordingly no land ownership will be offered to China,” State Minister Range Bandara added.
Speaking on the Paada Yatra organised by the Joint Opposition (JO), he said the JO is now speechless since its leaders who organised the Paada Yatra could not bring as many people as they pledged and boasted.
“They gave thousands of speeches earlier. But, it ended with a few people. According to trustworthy estimates, there were around 14,700 people on the final day of Paada Yatra. Owing to the lack attendance of people, the organisers held the last meeting at the Liptons Circus instead of holding it in Campbell Park, which was permitted by the government,” he said.
“Parliamentarian Rajapaksa said earlier that they would hold the final meeting at Gall Face Green since no public ground could accommodate such a massive crowd of about two million people,” he said.
- He said the Paada Yatra was an utter failure and criticised those who hooted at the SLFP headquarters while marching in the Paada Yatra.
- He condemned the behaviour of Janaka Bandara Tennakoon for allegedly using a child to abuse and insult President Sirisena. “That is against the ethics of civilised society,” he said. He questioned Rajapaksa whether he (Rajapaksa) is trying to claw back to power through such mudslinging campaigns by using children.
- State Minister Bandara said that Parliamentarian Wimal Weerawansa is threatening to topple the government. “Similar to the fish, Weerawansa will be in hot water just because of his mouth,” he said.
- He revealed that there was a clash between two Provincial Councillors, who took part in the Paada Yatra while returning home after the meeting. A brawl that followed almost ended in a shooting. “This incident clearly proves that the gun culture has not ended even though the Rajapaksa’s regime is over,” he said.
- Bandara also accused Rajapaksa for trying to split the Malwatte Chapter. If Rajapaksa denies these allegations, he can ask for an independent committee to look into the allegation.
He said during the Rajapaksa’s regime, the country was governed without giving due consideration to Administrative Regulations, Financial Regulations, Final Code or Constitution. The JO will vanish if they conduct two more Paada Yatra to Colombo from Matara and Anuradhapura.
Speaking on the JVP, the State Minister said the JVP is only barking without biting. Mere “Barking” is not enough to take the country forward.