Former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa says that as a ‘non-mainstream politician’, he is confident on winning the next Presidential Election.
Pointing out his non-mainstream political views as the advantage for his victory at upcoming Presidential Election, Gotabaya said that Sri Lankans are “tired of mainstream politicians who only think of votes and care little for the genuine development and progress of the people”.
In an interview with NewsIn Asia, Gotabaya says that he believes his ethnically impartial and economic development agenda could attract the votes of minorities. However “it is not essential to get the votes of the minorities to win a Presidential election”, he has said, citing former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s victory in 2010.
Addressing the issue concerning his dual citizenship, Gotabaya has said that the process of getting released from his American citizenship is currently underway.
Speaking on the infrastructure development carried out by the Rajapaksa government following the end of the war in 2009, Gotabaya said they turned towards foreign borrowings as they did not have the adequate funds for this purpose. “But we did not fall into a debt trap as it is alleged,” he has noted.
Gotabaya, commenting on releasing the private lands in the north occupied by the military and resettlement activities, further said that they have given back to Sri Lankans their most important right – the right to live.
“If there is all-round development of the country, and there is economic equality, a Tamil person could be Prime Minister of Sri Lanka,” Gotabaya said, speaking on their development agenda.
When queried on Tamils’ struggle for devolution, Gotabaya said the Tamil parties “do not want to participate in governance and develop their people”
“The Tamil parties do not know what the Tamil people really want. Tamil parties demand police powers for the province but the people there do not want locally recruited police,” he has stated.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa says that the failure of the ‘Good Governance’ has become an advantage for him, as the UNP-led government has not made any achievements yet.
Despite UNP’s promise to punish the corrupt, they had taken revenge against rival politicians, Gotabaya said.
Speaking further he said the conflicting political views of the President and the Prime Minister has led to an unstable government and has adversely affected local and foreign investment.
Gotabaya emphasized the proportional representation electoral system should be abolished before discarding the Executive Presidency. Proportional representation creates instability in the Parliament, according to Gotabaya. A divided, weak parliament and a ceremonial Presidency cannot exist together, he further said.