Former President Mahinda Rajapakshe, with other parties, including members of his family, the Joint Opposition Party and Sri Lanka People’s Front, continues to say that the disclosure made by the New York Times that he had obtained money from China for 2015 Presidential Election is false. However, he so far has not made any official statement accounting to his defence.
The New York Times journalist Maria Abi Habib who made these information available has also said that if the information disclosed by the paper is false, only he will be able to respond.
Meanwhile, at a statement she made to a local television channel she mentioned that she had attempted several times to collect opinion from the former President’s side in formulating this report. She also emphasized that she had attempted in various means to get in touch with Mr. Mahinda Rajapakshe in regard to the case, but none of them succeeded. Accordingly, it is obvious that both Mahinda and his parties had wilfully avoided the New York Times journalist.
Nevertheless, after the report is being published, the Mahinda party has declared in various occasions that the report has been formulated without single consent from their side.
10 Questions from Maria to Mahinda
Once being unable of contacting Mr. Mahinda Rajapakshe one way or another, Maria Habib has sent him 10 questions expecting answers. The journalist says that she had been waiting for two months to get answers for these questions. The journalist has had tried to collect views from at least a close confident of the former President at his absence, like Basil Rajapakshe, and they have avoided the opportunity.
As a responsible media body, the New York Times has already given the opportunity to Mahinda Rajapakshe in speaking of their defence about the allegations, and seems they have avoided. Having avoided, humour is that they are making announcements from temple to temple, public meeting to another that these allegations are false.
Had the news been a lie, he should have been contacting the journalist Maria Habib and declaring otherwise. At the least, he could have grabbed the opportunity to answer the 10 questions raised by the journalist. If so, Maria Habib would have been formulating her report in consideration with Mahinda Rajapakshe’s opinion as well.
If the disclosure made by the New York Times is false, there is no reason by the Mahindas should not give an answer. Avoiding answering or rejecting to respond to the questions posed by the journalist indicates that the allegations ought to be true.
The disclosure made by the New York Times is not the only evidence to allege Mahinda Rajapakshes to be bribed from China. On several occasions it is reported that Mahinda Rajapakshe, as well as Basil Rajapakshe had obtained money from China, and cheques reinforcing the allegations also surfaced in the media.