Gotabaya asserts he will contest 2019 Presidential polls

Former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, accused by rights groups of war crimes during the final months of Sri Lanka’s long-running civil war a decade ago, has confirmed he plans to run for the presidency in the wake of the Easter Sunday attacks that have shattered the country’s uneasy peace.

Rajapaksa, the brother of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, told Al Jazeera that he would stand as a candidate in elections due by late 2019.

“Definitely I’m contesting,” Rajapaksa said with a chuckle during an interview in the book-lined study of his home in the capital, Colombo, photos from his military career hanging from the walls.

“I have decided long time. Otherwise there’s no need for me to renounce my US citizenship.”

There has long been speculation that Rajapaksa, a Sri Lanka-US dual citizen, will campaign for the presidency.

Rajapaksa has to renounce his US citizenship in order to run for president. His name does not appear on the most recent quarterly filing to the US registry on those who have lost their citizenship, which covers the three months until the end of March.

He insists he is not being an opportunist in revealing his plans in the wake of the attacks on churches and luxury hotels that killed more than 250 people and have fuelled a wave of mob violence against Muslim communities.

“I don’t consider it as an opportunity,” he told Al Jazeera. “It is not the elections, but it is our country and nation. Something I focused on is destroyed. I’m worried and saddened because of that.”

3 COMMENTS

  1. “THE MUSLIM VOICE” is fully with Gotabaya Rajapaksa in his political journey to be the next President of Sri Lanka. The Muslims have begun to act on their own politically and have started to support Gotabaya, Insha Allah. “THE MUSLIM VOICE” will do all it is possible within it’s ability to make Gotabaya’s victory a success. “Wait and see” what the Muslims voters will do in the Eastern and Northern provinces too, Insha Allah.
    The duped and hoodwinked Muslim voters who were made to “vote” the “Hansaya” have begun to understand the treachery of these Muslim Civil Society Leaders, Community Leaders, and Ulema Sabai Leaders by the action of the “Yahapalana Government” now. They are “disgruntled” and they have begun to show their displeasure and have begun to retaliate against these so-called deceptive, hoodwinking and opportunistic Muslim Politicians, Muslim Political parties and their leaders, Muslim Civil Society Leaders, Community Leaders and Ulema Sabai Leaders to safeguard their legitimate “Muslim Rights” and work towards “National Reconciliation”. They are no more willing to be duped by the press releases and media dramas staged by these stooges of the “Yahapalana Government” anymore. The Muslim Youth and the young professionals of the community have begun to use “SOCIAL MEDIA” to challenge these scroundels. In the next elections, surely the Muslims are contemplating to vote the “Joint Opposition” to power. THEY WILL VOTE GOTABAYA RAJAPAKSA TO BECOME THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF SRI LANKA BECAUSE THEY CAN TRUST HIM TO ERADICATE MUSLIM TERRORISM TOO, Insha Allah.
    Noor Nizam, Peace and Political Activist, Political Communications Researcher, SLFP Stalwart and Convener – “The Muslim Voice”.

  2. Gota is the only hope for this country. I am positive about his leadership. However, I have a reservation for the entire South Asia, because it has been mismanaged by Indians without a post independence strategy.

  3. WHAT A RASCAL IS HE , HOW DARE HE SAYS WILL CONTEST , THE BRUTUL KILLER OF INNOCENTS , KILLER OF WELL KNOWN JOURNALISTS , KILLER OF SOLDIERS WITH BOGUS REASONS , KILLER OF 27 WELIKADA PRISONERS FOR NO REASON , ETC , ETC. FURTHER , ROBBING THE ASSETS AND MONIES OF SRI LANKA. ROBBING THE AVANTE GARDE INCOME , ETC ,ETC . WHICH FOOLS OF THIS COUNTRY WANT TO ELECT HIM . YOU WILL HAVE TO VOMIT WHEN YOU ALL LISTEN TO THEIR NAMES AND THE FAMILY AS WHOLE . SRI LANKA IS PRESENTLY SUFFEREING DUE TO ONE FAMILY , WHO DESTROYED THE PEACE IN SRI LANKA. WHAT A SHAME TO THIS COUNTRY . ROBBED AND MURDERED SINCE 2005 TILL 2014 DEC. NOTHING MORE TO ADD. HE HAS ONLY ONE VISION FOR SRI LANKA , THAT IS ROBBING AND MURDER

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