Mahinda hints he may contest for Prime Minister at next election

Mahinda MRFormer President Mahinda Rajapaksa has hinted at the possibility at contesting for the post of Prime Minister at the next General election.

Asked by Japan Times about his future plans, Rajapaksa pointed out that now he is barred from seeking a third term as president, but, flashing his signature smile, did not rule out running for prime minister. “Politicians never retire,” he says.

Speaking about the war, Rajapaksa said that in his view, LTTE leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran misjudged the situation, hoping that international pressure in response to the carnage would force the state to back off. Prabhakaran, in Rajapaksa’s view, was “too full of himself,” failing to understand that this time the state had no intention of allowing the Tigers to regroup.

Although Rajapaksa eradicated terrorism and raised living standards, he lost the 2015 elections. He attributes his defeat to resentment against him from Muslims (9.7 percent of the population, according to a 2012 census) and Sri Lankan and Indian Tamils (15.2 percent), and to the Sinhalese harboring unrealistic expectations who took what he delivered for granted.

Asked if he had any regrets, Rajapaksa says he trusted people too much. Regarding the scars of war in this traumatized nation, he says that he has promoted reconciliation by returning land to the Tamils and investing heavily in infrastructure and development projects in the northeast, helping them to begin restoring their lives after three decades of war. Asked why the Sri Lankan Navy is operating luxury resorts on unreturned land, he says it is important to give them something to do.

Regarding Asian leaders, he says he admires authoritarians such as Singapore’s founding prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, and former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who both boosted the economies of their nations. But he is more skeptical about Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, another devout Buddhist leader presiding over a country troubled by endemic inter-ethnic conflict and religious tensions. I drew attention to her desire to attain freedom from fear, and how Sri Lanka’s lingering culture of war makes this goal elusive. He agreed it made sense in theory, but expressed uncertainty about how to proceed, adding that now she faces the burden of delivering on her promises.

He stopped short of condemning Sri Lanka’s militant monks and extremist Buddhist organizations for advocating and engaging in violence targeting Muslims, but did say that it is not consistent with public sentiments.

Asked about continued abductions and the silencing of critics by state forces, Rajapaksa maintained that this is no longer the case. A January 2016 report by the International Truth & Justice Project Sri Lanka — “Silenced: Survivors of Torture and Sexual Violence in 2015″ — provides compelling evidence to the contrary. (Colombo Gazette)

 

4 COMMENTS

  1. Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa MUST contest for Prime Minister at the next elections when asked by Japan Times about his future plans. Rajapaksa has also said that – “Politicians never retire.”
    Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa attributes his defeat at the 2015 elections when answering a journalist of the Japan Times as to the reasons for his defeat, that it was due to resentment against him from Muslims, Sri Lankan and Indian Tamils, and to the Sinhalese harbouring unrealistic expectations who took what he delivered for granted is – “VERY TRUE”. Mahinda Rajapaksa did not wish to tell that, mostly it was due to the treacherous back stabbing done by the leader of the ACMC, Minister Rishad Bahthiudeen, leader of the SLMC, Minister Rauf Hakeem, the ungrateful Faizer Musthapa, Minister Hisbullah and Eravur UC Chairman Ali Zahir Moulana and nominated MP Amir Ali in the run-up to the presidential elections in 2015.
    I am very happy that the Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Japan declares that the Yahapalana government was brought to power on January the 8th, 2016 (Presidential elections) and the (General Elections) of August 17th., 2016 by the MUSLIM and TAMIL votes. That is the fact and real TRUTH. But politicians in Sri Lanka are NOT willing to accept the REALITY and the Sinhala votes which is divided between the 74 % of the Sri Lanka population is FIGHTING between themselves that it was one side or the other of the Sinhala votes that made President Maithripala (under Hansaya) to win and or Mahinda Rajapaksa (under the betel leaf symbol) to loose at the presidential elections. Mahinda lost to Maithripala Sirisena by 400,000 votes.These were the tipping the balance votes. The UPFA fought with the United National Front for Good Governance and secured 96 parliament seats contra the UNFGG secured 106 parliament seats. The 400,000 votes majority came to President Maithripala Sirisena from the Muslim votes viz-a-viz the Aluthgama/Beruwela violence and a large portion of the Tamil votes from the North. Still a fair amount of Muslims voted from the East for Mahinda, though he lost. When balancing the Sinhala votes of both the UPFA and the UNFGG, the difference of around 10 parliamentary seats majority for the Maithripala-Ranil UNFGG government came from the TNA and Muslims voted Muslim candidates who contested under the UNFGG (Elephant) symbol. So Udara is quite correct to say that the Maithripala/Ranil government was brought to power by the Muslims and the Tamils. The Tamils have gained much with this victory, but the poor political orphans who believed and trusted the Yahapalana campaign have been thrown into the political dust bin by President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremasinghe. Those so-called Muslim party leaders and their stooges and the leader of the TNA have benefited much for themselves. The Sinhala people have ONLY being fighting, sad to say and loosing a country that could have progressed to prosperity by the grace of God AllMighty. Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was a STATESMAN, not only a politician. BUT MAHINDA RAJAPAKSA SHOULD MAKE SURE THAT HE WILL NOT TOLERATE THESE unscrupulous MUSLIM POLITICIANS GETTING INTO HIS FOLD AT THE NEXT ELECTIONS TRYING TO SELL THE MUSLIM VOTE BANK TO HIM. THE MUSLIM VOTERS WHO VOTED AGAINST MAHINDA AT THE 2015 PRESIDENTIAL and GENERAL ELECTIONS GOING AFTER THESE DECEPTIVE MUSLIM POLITICIANS ARE NOW BEGINNING TO SEE THE TRUE PICTURE OF MISGUIDANCE AND DECEPTION THAT WAS TRUST ON THEM THEN AND HOW THEY HAVE BEEN MADE USE FOR THE SELFISH AND PERSONAL GAINS OF THESE LEADERS AND POLITICIANS. THE MAJORITY OF THEM WILL NEVER AGAIN VOTE THE UNP, OR AGAINST MAHINDA RAJAPAKSA, EXCEPT THE HARDCORE TRADITIONAL MUSLIM UNP SUPPORTERS.
    Noor Nizam. Peace and Political Activist, Political communication Researcher, Former SLFP District Organizer, Trincomalee District and Convener – The Muslim Voice.

    • President MR lost the election, because of people like you. Your hardcore racist statements may have helped to make firm decisions during the brutal war. However, those hardcore racist statements won’t get votes when the country is under peace and development stage. President MR must look for different strategy to get votes.

  2. If former President MR comes up with good policies to avoid corruption, and treating everyone equally not giving favor to family members, relatives and friends then he will get votes. He must also clean up his team. If anyone has ripped off the public money, he must be sacked from his political team ASAP. Otherwise RW, MS and their foreign allies will continue to undermine and isolate MR.

    President doesn’t need to talk about why he lost the election in the past. If he can convince the Sinhalese about their future is enough to win the election. Therefore, talking about what Tamils and Muslim have done in the past is irrelevant to win the future election. In fact, if MR goes down that path it will create resentment from minority races. Showing any kind of anger towards the people who voted for the opposition is a cheap politics, it will put MR backward.

  3. The crust of the comments are to educate the majority Sinhalese community and the minority Tamil community of “THE MUSLIM FACTOR” and to remind the Muslim community to rethink voting Mahinda/SLFP/UPFA/Eakaabadde Vipaksaya in any forth coming elections.
    Noor Nizam. Peace and Political Activist, Political Communication Researcher, SLFP Stalwart and Convener – The Muslim Voice.

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