President Gotabaya Rajapaksa told Parliament today that he will not wear the maroon shawl.
Making his maiden speech to Parliament, President Rajapaksa said that the maroon shawl had been worn by his family members in Parliament over the years.
Clad in full suit, President Rajapaksa said that he will not wear the shawl but stands by the idea behind the maroon shawl (Satakaya).
The Rajapaksas were often identified for the maroon shawl with the new President’s father, brothers and others in the family often wearing it for state events.
“From the first day the honourable D. M. Rajapaksa, known as the Lion of Ruhuna, appeared in the State Council, he wore a maroon coloured shawl. What he symbolized through this maroon shawl were the millet farmers of Giruvapaththuwa. Following D. M. Rajapaksa, my father D. A. Rajapaksa and each member of the Rajapaksa family who was elected to Parliament wore the maroon shawl. Even though I do not wear this shawl, I stand for the same profound philosophy of constant dedication to the poor that is symbolized by the maroon shawl,” he said.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa wore a white shirt and pants when he took office after being elected President and today he was seen in full suit.
Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, his brothers Basil Rajapaksa and Chamal Rajapaksa and Mahinda Rajapaksa’s son Namal Rajapaksa have all worn the maroon shawl. (Colombo Gazette)