Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s open foray into politics took place last Wednesday in the form of ‘Eliya’ a new organization that was ceremonially launched at the Golden Rose hall in Boraleasgaluwa. Its launch was in the form of a seminar on the proposed new constitution. The panel of speakers included Gota himself who introduced the new organization to the audience and spoke on why it opposes the proposed new constititution.
Ven. Prof. Medagoda Abhayatissa Thera, Dr Dayan Jayatilleke, Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekera, Dr Seetha Arambepola, Rev. Fr. Wimal Tirimanne, Tamara Kunanayagam, Lawyer Rushdi Habib, and Maj. Gen. Kamal Gunaratne were among the speakers at this event. MP Namal Rajapaksha stands outside the main hall and watches the progress as per his father Mahindas advice.
A leaflet in Sinhala ONLY distributed to participants during the launch of Eliya explained why the new organization had decided to make the proposed new constitution the focal point of their inauguration.
The organization regards the process of constitutional change started by the government with the utmost suspicion because this government has a track record of misusing executive and legislative power, and that the numbers they have artificially built up in the legislature by misusing executive power has been used as a tool to ride rough shod over public opinion.
Explaining what Office of Missing Persons Act is, the Eliya leaflet said that despite the innocuous name, this is not some harmless body formed to look for missing persons but an investigative body that has the power to accept funding from overseas and even from foreign governments. That it has the power to search any Sri Lankan military or police installation at will; to summon witnesses and to seize any document or thing as evidence and to admit as evidence anything it deems relevant even in contravention of the Evidence Ordinance. It said that the OMP was established as a part of the implementation of the resolution of October 2015 that the yahapalana government and the foreign powers that backed the 2015 January ‘regime change’ project collaborated in getting passed in the UN Human Rights Council.
“Eliya”(Light)Is Formed To Oppose the New Constitution by Gotha with the blessing of Mahinda.
- Mahinda avoids it to play ‘Good Man’ to gain the votes of Minority.
- Gotha plays the racist card to gain the Majority (Right wing extreme Sinhala) Votes.
(English Translation of Keynote Speech made by former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa at the launch of “Eliya”(Light) at the “Golden Rose” in Boralesgamuwa on September 6th 2017)
After defeating 30 years of terrorism that was in this country, after we united this country as one, we cannot allow that victory to be betrayed through the constitution or through the parliament. Today, we have a great fear that through a new constitution our great victory would be nullified.
For that reason, academics and professionals representing various fields proposed that the need to oppose a new constitution in what ever form must be taken to the people. It is the mission of Eliya to do everything necessary to create that awareness and opposition among the people for a new constitution.
It is not that the current constitution is without fault. Yet, we oppose a new constitution because we feel a deep insecurity when we see who is drafting the new constitution, for whom and for what reason. We know where this is heading.
It is the same groups who strategized for the LTTE, who collected funds, who through those funds supplied weaponry who are trying to achieve through another means what they couldn’t through war and terrorism.
It is the same pressure groups from various organizations, international organizations, foreign countries that opposed military efforts to eradicate terrorism who are trying to bring a new constitution to meet their needs.
Likewise, it is for the needs of the Tamil political separatists in this country, this new constitution is to be brought.
It is the barbarous LTTE organization who for years killed innocent civilians, that destroyed this whole country who have become human rights champions now. It is they who are trying to take the war heroes and their leadership who dawned peace to this country, united this country to war crime tribunals. It is they who have come forward to create a new constitution.
It is because of this reason we oppose, it is because of this reason we decided to form a new organization to mobilize people against a new constitution.
We know a number of national organizations have been committed to this task since one and a half years ago. We have discussed with them to give leadership to join efforts and take this as a very broad project to the people.
Another reason why we oppose a new constitution is because we have no faith in this government. We saw how they pledged for the past couple of years that the Office for Missing Persons will not be established, but finally it did.
In the same manner we saw the manner the amendments to the local government electoral system were introduced. It was maintained that the war heroes will not be harmed, but today a large number, especially from the military intelligence units are being condemned.
Then, how can we trust such an administration? If this is how they conduct, if the new constitution is brought by such a team, then it is very clear to us that it will be a very dangerous constitution.
It is for these reasons we founded this new organization. Our mission is to reach the public through this organization. For this, I beseech your support as I conclude my speech.
President Maithripala Sirisena today accused a group of retired army officers politically linked to former defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa of causing friction between disabled soldiers and the authorities.
In an unusual move, the President made references to statements by retired army major general Kamal Gunaratne regarding the November clash between disabled soldiers and police outside the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo.
“Those who criticise the government today are the very same people who brought outsiders to a demonstration by disabled soldiers, created a tense situation that led to clashes and then blamed the government,” the President said.
He recalled Gunaratne’s criticism of the government following reports that police attacked disabled soldiers. Police clashed with able bodied men who had been brought to take part in the protest. He accused the retired officer and his group of creating tension between disabled troops and the authorities.