Minister Mangala Samaraweera, speaking to the media recently has stated that knowing well the crimes committed by Gotabaya Rajapaksa, he is in fact frightened of the former defence secretary.
Not only Mangala after all, many of us who led the democratic movement that toppled the fascistic regime of Mahinda are scared of resurgence of Mahinda clan. All who reject terrorism as a method in political struggle were scared of both LTTE and DJV. On the other hand, except terrorists others were not scared of JR, Chandrika and Ranil, even though the names of these individuals were directly or indirectly mentioned along with certain questionable deeds in the past. In fact these regimes gave protection to opposition leaders who were threatened by terrorists. Today, the truth is that all of us are fearful of our future with a defeat of the yahapalana regime. The same goes for those in the UNP and those in the yahapalana regime — ministers. I remember well, so do others involved in the incident, how the organized killers attacked my vehicle at the Airport when I returned from England in 2010. I escaped death due to the ability and sacrifice of my supporters. Police investigations produce nothing.
In that scenario talking of ‘someone who didn’t think twice of unleashing a kurundu-polu attack on supporters of his own party’ is childish. Yes it is violence; such violence existed in our schooldays between Mariakade lads and Suduwella lads, after the cricket match between St Joseph and Ananda to decide who the real victor is! It is idiotic to compare that with merciless disappearances and agony of cruel murder.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa answering said Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera was spreading false propaganda against him because the minister was aware of his ability. Most certainly Mangala was aware of what Gotabaya could do. More exactly he was aware what Gotabaya could do with latter’s fascistic orientation. Murder of media people , execution of Welikada prisoners, disappearance of large number of Tamil prisoners , disappearance of Pradeep Eknaligoda and many other crimes committed by the state happened under his supervision as the all powerful defence secretary. However he has escaped so far from getting arrested in relation to any of these crimes. That clearly shows his ability to arrange affairs and manage people. If one falls against such a powerful person, one has to be careful. Hence Mangala says that he is frightened of Gota coming to power again. That is not false propaganda at all. It is clear warning given based on Gota’s ability to eliminate his opponents.
Gotabaya recalled how Minister Samaraweera pasted posters against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe during the time of President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga.
“Recently, Minister Samaraweera said he knew Mr. Wickremesinghe could perform well and that was why he pasted posters against Mr.Wickremesinghe.” that is entirely different a story where Mangala admits he made false propaganda to make Ranil a disable person. In this case, Mangala has initiated a propaganda campaign against Gotabaya explaining Gota’s real ability to carry out fascistic operations. “I can say this is because he knows I can,” Mr. Rajapaksa told an event organized by the Federation of National Organizations in Badulla. Perfect, yes Mangala knows very well what Gota could do and what he cannot.
Gota has said further that the minister’s special statement which said Gotabaya Rajapaksa was the most corrupt and dangerous government official and should not be brought to power had been issued amid many crises on the economic front. Gotabaya explained, “The government has increased taxes and the prices of essential items. There is no development in any sector. Businessmen and entrepreneurs are going through a difficult time while local and foreign investors get discouraged. Minister Samaraweera who is responsible for these, issues a special statement about me.”
Gota further accused, when Mangala was the Foreign Minister, he went to Geneva and co-sponsored a resolution against the country even without informing the President. This is false; the said UN resolution in fact saved Lanka from getting into total isolation and all sensible people congratulated Mangala for it. That perfectly showed the mess in to which Lanka had fallen under Mahinda regime. After he was appointed Finance Minister, Gota says that taxes were imposed as per the needs of the IMF and the cost of living increased. On the contrary IMF agreed to put more burdens on the direct taxation relieving poor from indirect taxation. Mangala continued what Ravi started. Without admitting the truth Gota uses his old Goebbels theory, thinking that people can be taken for a ride. Most certainly we need to oust selfish politicians and elect those who can work for the betterment of the country.
Then Gota tells us a story how Minister Samaraweera approached him several weeks prior to the presidential election in 2014 with the intention of joining then president Mahinda Rajapaksa. He claims “In 2014, two weeks before calling for nominations for the presidential elections, an associate of Mr. Samaraweera named Ruwan Ferdinandez phoned me and said he wants to meet me. He said I have to bring all elements together to strengthen Mahinda Rajapaksa for the presidential election. Mr. Samaraweera submitted their requirements in writing. The then president rejected the request and therefore, Mangala went against Mahinda Rajapaksa. These kinds of politicians have no principles and their concern is their own benefit and not the country.” To any body who knows Ruwan and Mangala this story of Gota will sound like fairy tale from a kindergarten story book.
By Dr. Vickramabahu Karunarathne