Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa today appealed to Tamils and Muslims in the country to support him.
Speaking at a United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) rally in Battaramulla today, Rajapaksa assured that he will work towards addressing the issues of the Tamils and Muslims which he refused to do so when he was in power from 2004 to 2015.
Mahinda has the President of Sri Lanka in 2009 promised to implement 13+ amendment to the constitution of the country which was more than the current constitution if he is allowed to kill the LTTE. The western world leaders believed him and turned away and more than 40,000 Tamil civilians and more than 1,000 LTTE Leaders and their family members who surrendered with White Flag after UN negotiated the surrender in May 2009.
After the LTTE were killed he refused to implement the promised 13+ amendment saying ‘there is no LTTE so there was no need for a political package for Tamils’ and when the UN challenged him about the promise he made to them he took cover from China, Russia and anti western countries. He also forging an alliance with the Sinhalese Buddhist nationalist in the country, Tamils and Muslims were further discriminated. He was working towards a Sinhala Buddhist country and Tamils, Muslims and Christians were frequently beaten up or disappeared with the support of Government forces and senior parliamentarians.
In 2015 he was confident that he will continue to be the President for next term and wanted his Son to succeed him, but lost due to most Tamils and Muslims voted against him.
Now due the current political power struggle he requires the support of the Tamils and Muslims to stay in power and once again he has said that he will work towards addressing the issues of the Tamils and Muslims which he refused to do so when he was in power from 2004 to 2015. A journalist said that he will never implement anything because he was the most powerful and popular person among the Sinhalese in Sri Lanka in May 2009 and he could have easily implemented the promised political package but he did not wanted to do so.
Interestingly, President Maithripala Sirisena who spoke in the same meeting also assured that he will resolve the issues faced by Tamils in the North and East but to date being in power for 3 1/2 years he refused to implement a political package. He even refused to release the 103 Tamil political prisoners, some of them are in prison without any charges for more than 15 years. but now he says he will release them soon but refused to give a time frame.
Mahinda in Power
After the Parliamentary Elections of 2004, in which the United People’s Freedom Alliance gained a slim majority in Parliament. Rajapaksa was sworn in as Sri Lanka’s 13th Prime Minister on 6 April 2004. While Rajapaksa was the Prime Minister, he also held the Ministry of Highways.
Mahinda Rajapaksa was chosen by Sri Lanka Freedom Party to contest with former Prime Minister and Opposition Leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe, the leader of the United National Party in this Presidential Election held on 17 November 2005. Despite the huge election campaign led by UNP, Mahinda Rajapaksa was able to gain a narrow victory by 190,000 votes. The Opposition claimed that LTTE calling for a boycott of the polls in the North and East from Tamil voters in areas within their control lead to their defeat. Most voters in these areas were forcibly restrained from voting, and it is said that they would have favoured Ranil Wickremasinghe and his UNP party in the said election and Ranil would have won. Rajapaksa is accused of bribing LTTE to stop the Tamils in north from Voting and received only 50.3% of the total vote.
Third term bid and alleged election fraud
Previous allegations of election fraud
Rajapaksa has been accused of election fraud for both his previous presidential election runs. During the 2005 presidential election, opposition parties accused Rajapaksa of bribing LTTE to avoid people from voting in the Northern and Eastern provinces. Most voters in these areas were forcibly restrained by the militant group from voting, and it is said[by whom?] that they would have favoured opposition candidate Ranil Wickremasinghe.
In the 2010 election, Rajapaksa was accused of manipulating election results using computers.
In the 2015 election, according to the Presidential Commission of Inquiry investigating irregularities into SriLankan Airlines, it was revealed that Security officers and vehicles of the national carrier had been used in the 2015 presidential campaign of Mahinda Rajapaksa. At the time Nishantha Wickramasinghe, a brother-in-law of Rajapaksa, was also Chairman of SriLankan Airlines until Rajapaksa lost the presidential election in 2015.