Presidential Speech & Policy Statement by Gotabaya Rajapakse – Sri Lanka’s Presidential candidate for SLPP
Posted on August 12th, 2019

It was a moment many had awaited with much impatience. ‘My choice didn’t matter – the Nation had already selected & elected him… My brother is yours” was enough to put to rest any doubts. Gotabaya Rajapakse was thus declared the Presidential nominee of the SLPP a party formed & steamrolled into public popularity after the 2018 local government elections. A very dignified and articulate speech was delivered by the former President & present Opposition Leader, Mahinda Rajapakse. It touched every area that needed to be touched and set the tempo for the grand finale and then came the Nation’s new hope with what no one expected was to become his National Policy statement.

Gotabaya Rajapakse articulated his speech well and was perfectly suited for the occasion. It was toned to show what he would do, was acceptable and believable.

I love my Nation, I have a vision for my Nation, I will serve my Nation & I will accept the challenges and prove I can overcome the challenges responsibly & successfully’ was all that the People wanted to hear Gotabaya Rajapakse say.

As Mr. Gotabaya Rajapakse said, the country was at a very decisive juncture – it was nothing anyone was not aware of. The country had been misled, misused and manipulated by those that had orchestrated the January 2015 regime change. It was only natural that the patriotic and national-minded individuals and organizations would search for an alternative leader. Thus, Gotabaya Rajapakse acknowledged the trust placed in him by the Maha Sangha and the citizens of Sri Lanka for that role. He pledged to encompass the hopes of all Citizens on behalf of the Nation. That pledge received a resounding applause.

Gotabaya Rajapakse reminded the Nation of his 20 year’s services in the armed forces and the note by late Gen. Cyril Ranatunga who had inked in pen that Gota was one to take any initiative & complete it over and above the line of duty. This he proved throughout the 10 years he was tasked to handle the most challenging roles as Defense Secretary throughout the conflict & thereafter. That role, everyone knows he did with exemplary acumen unmatched by any of his predecessors.

The listeners were automatically taken back to his post-conflict role in a quest to beautify Colombo and suburbs turning Sri Lanka’s capital into one of the most beautiful cities in the world & gaining international recognition for it.

As Mr. Gotabaya Rajapakse rightfully said – not only does the country need a leader with a vision but a leader who can plan & complete that vision. Everyone knew that as Defense Secretary and throughout his post-LTTE defeat role he had shown to the Nation that he was a man with a vision and a man who could turn that vision into action and complete the action within a short time.

SLPP’s Presidential Candidate covered some very sensitive areas with finesse placing confidence in the People that he would :-

  • Give prominence to National Security
  • Bring Law & Order & Discipline to the Country
  • Deal with all countries without kneeling before anyone
  • Not compromise the country’s culture – heritage or sovereignty in dealing with the international community
  • Not allow any nation to interfere in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka
  • Not allow anyone to breach the Sovereignty of Sri Lanka
  • And to make Sri Lanka the safest country to live in

I will take responsibility for you & your children’s safety’ was all that parents wanted to hear and People sighed in relief that they were now safe.

Gotabaya Rajapakse did not forget the history or heritage or the place of Buddhism in the ethos of Sri Lanka when he said that the 2600 written history had taught to respect all other communities and religions and that would be the basis of his rule. Inspiring people further he declared that Our Unity was Our Strength and we needed to nurture that & certainly that meant we needed to remove the obstacles that were trying to divide the Nation & its People. In so saying he immediately declared that he would not allow or tolerate extremist terrorism and that gave further confidence in him to the People.

Environment was a topic close to everyone’s heart and to declare that under his government he would protect environment and sustainability was welcome news just as much as the commitment made to reforestation. The Green Town concept and beautifying towns and cities that began with Colombo would continue across Sri Lanka under a Gota Rule.  

He took listeners back at the period 2005-2014 and the development that took place and that would continue to take place once again and everyone realized that the development had stalled and stopped after 2015.

For any country to develop the economy must be handled well. Mr. Rajapakse assured that the new economic environment would synergize with the local economy under the concept ‘Gama Samaga Pilisandara’ and that under the Eliya & Viyathmaga programs meeting rural people and tapping their wants and needs, he was well placed to set a program that would result in success – economic liberty, respectful living, safe environment, people-centric economy, human resources put to best of use, innovations, talents & skills given due recognition and all these would affect better employment and new jobs opportunities. An area that has been under much scrutiny has been agriculture and it was welcome to hear that agriculture would be developed and sustained further just as transportation, road, rail, school, water, village development and work from home using technology would also be areas that he would address.

He gave much promise to youth who are looking at their own future and youth have much to look forward to.

Another hot topic that he gave a policy statement for was the role of the public sector and he firmly committed that it should be devoid of political interference with promotions on merit & skills.  

Before ending his policy statement SLPP’s Presidential Candidate raised the bar in requesting that his campaign should be one of total discipline – no revenge, no hate, no vengeance, no polythene, no lies, no mud-slinging, no counter arguments but one based on truth, logic & facts.

He assured that he would set an example as a leader should and that Sri Lanka would soon rise up to greatness that existed during ancient times.

Thus spoke a Real Leader and Hope was reborn among all Citizens.

Shenali D Waduge

16 Responses to “Presidential Speech & Policy Statement by Gotabaya Rajapakse – Sri Lanka’s Presidential candidate for SLPP”

  1. Ananda-USA Says:

    REPEAL the 13A and 19A, get RID of Provincials Councils, just as India REPEALED Articles 370 and 35A by Presidential Decree and made itself MORE IMMUNE to SEPARATISM!

    What is GOOD for the Indian GOOSE that IMPOSED 13A on Sri Lanka, should be GOOD for the Sri Lankan GANDER to FREE ITSELF of the Indian Chain of the 13A!

    INSTEAD of PCs, introduce a District Administration under APPOINTED District Governors, and create a SENATE in Parliament!

    ELIMINATE the PM’s post in Parliament, and STRENGTHEN the EXECUTIVE PRESIDENCY FURTHER!

    NO NEED for REDUNDANT BUREAUCRACY of Provincial Councils! STREAMLINE Governance in Sri Lanka eliminating Centers of Separatism!
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

    Kashmir episode further dims chances of devolution of power to Sri Lankan Tamils

    Aug 12 (BDN) What is happening in India now in regard to federalism and devolution of power to Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir (J and K) region could further dims prospects of Sri Lankan Tamils’ getting power devolution beyond what they have been given de facto under the 13th Amendment of the Sri Lankan constitution.

    Through a Presidential Order on August 5, the Indian central government headed by strongman Narendra Modi, nullified Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian constitution which had given J and K State a large degree of autonomy. The Presidential Order also divided the State of J and K into two Union territories with very much less autonomy.

    This was done with three objectives in mind: to fight Pakistan-inspired terrorism and separatism in J and K; to integrate J and K with India fully, and to facilitate economic development, hitherto hampered by restrictions placed by Art 370 and Art 35A on the application of Indian laws to J and K, and on the influx of labour and capital from outside the State.

    RAJAPAKSA GIVES IT AWAY

    In a significant interview to the Tamil daily Virakesari last Saturday, former Sri Lankan president and head of the opposition Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Mahinda Rajapaksa said that the devolution debate in the country will have to take into account the developments in J and K.

    Rajapaksa did not elaborate, but given his expressed concern about national security in the context of perceived threats from Islamic terrorism and Tamil separatism, it was clear that he approved the steps taken by the Narendra Modi regime in India.

    “There are two strands of opinion now. Some want a new constitution. Some want a federal arrangement. And some say that a political solution based on the 13th Amendment would suffice. But a solution should not be one that divides the country. Look at what has just happened in Kashmir. We need to take steps keeping all these in mind. We have to understand these factors while we pursue a political solution,” Rajapaksa said.

    Adding weight to this contention, Rajapaksa said that the SLPP’s candidate for the December 2019 Sri Lankan presidential election would be a person who would “strengthen national security”.

    By Saturday it was clear that the SLPP’s presidential candidate would be Mahinda’s brother and former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, known for his no-nonsense approach to terrorism, separatism and devolution of power. He is also seen as a proponent of majoritarianism like Modi, a line favoured by Mahinda.

    Gotabaya’s chances of winning have been enhanced by three factors: the Apr 21 multiple bombings carried out by Islamic zealots; the disregard shown to timely intelligence inputs from India about the attacks; and the progressive and manifest weakening of the Lankan security apparatus under the United National Party (UNP)- led government.

    Given such a prospect, the UNP-led government’s bid to frame a new constitution to give greater power to the provinces in tune with the aspirations of the Tamil minority, is likely to be abandoned. In fact, it has been abandoned.

    The bid to draft a new constitution had reached a final stage, but the government chickened out at the last moment because of perceived opposition both within the UNP and the opposition.

    Speaking in parliament on July 26, Rajapaksa said: “After holding many discussions and releasing numerous reports over a period of more than two and a half years, on Jan 1, the prime minister tabled in Parliament a document which was described as the report of the panel of experts of the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly.”

    “Even in presenting that document to parliament, the prime minister insisted that its contents are not the views of the government but only of the panel of experts that compiled the report. Ultimately the report that was tabled in Parliament had no owner. How can a constitutional reform process succeed when nobody takes responsibility for the drafts that are tabled in parliament?”

    “We are resolutely opposed to the draft constitution that was presented to parliament by the Prime Minister. It would have had the effect of dividing Sri Lanka into nine semi-independent states. It contained proposals to set up nine separate police forces, and provisions that would have made it impossible for the centre to take back any powers devolved to the provincial units.”

    “Some say that I too spoke of ’13 Plus’ – a system of government going beyond the provisions of the 13th Amendment. I once told the then Indian Foreign Secretary that I was thinking of establishing a second chamber of Parliament made up of representatives of the provincial councils so as to get provincial leaders to participate in national affairs. It was the Indian Foreign Secretary who described my idea as 13 Plus. So it should be understood that what I meant by 13 Plus was not dividing the country into nine semi-independent units as proposed in the draft constitution that was tabled by the prime minister.”

    “The draft constitution that was presented to Parliament was prepared by (Tamil National Alliance) parliamentarian Sumanthiran and some NGO activists. After presenting it to Parliament, the Prime Minister repeatedly denied ownership of the document. Ultimately it appears that this government had taken the Tamil National Alliance too for a ride. ”

    “Parliamentarian Sumanthiran always drafts constitutional amendments that will lead to a separate state without the name. They have stated their views very clearly on paper.”

    With Gotabaya likely to win the coming presidential election given the felt need among the majority Sinhalese for a strong and functioning government in contrast to the bumbling and directionless incumbent UNP-led regime, the chances of the minority Tamils getting power devolution beyond what is available de facto are slim indeed.

    Read More:: BDN (Source)

  2. Nihal Perera Says:

    He is the ONLY true patriotic leader who can save the country. The country needs a strong and a brave leader who can get things done without kissing asses of the colonial masters in the West. He has a proven track record of achieving the goals which would help the people of the country – unlike the political parasites in the present regime.

    MORE POWER TO HIM!

  3. Ananda-USA Says:

    Yes, Shenali, a long NURTURED HOPE was indeed REKINDLED in my Patriotic Chest as Gotabhaya spoke, the HOPE that our motherland, hallowed in history, would RISE AGAIN to RESPLENDENCE!

    Thank you for your poetic words!

    Under Gota’s future Presidency, I am looking foward to see the cities, towns and villages, throughout the length and breadth of Lanka, become beautiful to match the transformation of Colombo!

    I think, Gota will receive the UNHESITATING & WILLING HELP of the Citizens of Sri Lanka to transform ALL of Sri Lanka into a environmentally clean land of indescribable beauty unpolluted by its residents!

    WHERE THERE IS AN INDOMITABLE WILL, THERE IS A WAY …. and Gota will provide the LEADERSHIP from the VERY TOP!

    Jayawewa, Sri Lanka1

    Jayawewa, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Anagatha Janadhipathithumani!

  4. Ratanapala Says:

    All patriotic Sri Lankans congratulate Gotabhaya for being nominated as the Presidential Candidate of Pohuttuwa the newly formed patriotic political party. It is no doubt the effort of many patriots who wish for an end to Jadapalanaya of Sirisena and Ranil. We salute the patriots – Wimal Weerawansa, Udaya Gammanpila, Dinesh Gunawardena and Vasudewa Nanayakkara for their painstaking efforts to bring about the Mahinda Sulanga and through that Gotabhaya to the forefront as the best option for the Presidency 2020 of Sri Lanka.

    The nation is confident that Gotabhaya will deliver as promised yesterday at his nomination. He is a man of his words and knows that he has to perform a historic duty to put right many things done and not done during the last few years. He is a patriot who loves his country and has a sense of history to boot. Most of all he has a vision for the country and the nation. He has well-meaning targets and goals. He has produced results in the past and we know he will deliver as intended in the future – not just free promises!

    He has the unenviable task of becoming the 7th President of Sri Lanka. It is a historic opportunity that needs to be taken with much dignity and responsibility. If done well he will be able to make an indelible mark on the glorious history of our nation and be one who can ink his name among the history’s greats.

    All that is required is patience, dedication and honesty of purpose to go into history as a great leader and a statesman to be remembered with love and respect for generations to come. This is what escaped Mahinda Rajapakse due to his many weaknesses; single headedness, cronyism and inability to prioritise the nation’s needs.

    With his experience in the military and then in modern technology and backed by genuine and well-meaning qualified and experienced advisors Gotabhaya can reach all the goals mentioned above.

    I join the nation in wishing him the very best and our unstinted support for all his future endeavours.

    May the Triple Gem Bless him and May All Gods look on him favourably!

  5. Hiranthe Says:

    Thank you Shenali for an honest appreciation of this great man who is going to change the status of our Mother Land to a GREAT state from the current Shitty state in every field.

    The change which is going to be imposed upon the entire election regime is clear when he said his campaign should be one of total discipline – no revenge, no hate, no vengeance, no polythene, no lies, no mud-slinging, no counter arguments but one based on truth, logic & facts.

    This will help us moving away from the Third World mentality as the Election Rallies in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are similar to the current set up in Sri Lanka.

    He will restore the dignity among the people by doing so. This great Hela nation needs a leader like GOTA who can boost their self confidence to become GREAT again.

  6. Dilrook Says:

    This is by veteran foreign affairs expert Daya Gamage. He is a proven patriot who served the nation immensely and continues to do so.

    “US-Sri Lanka military pacts safe under incoming Rajapaksa-rule”

    “http://www.asiantribune.com/node/92961”

    Quoted – But as a United States’ citizen, former Sri Lanka defense secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa came well within the investigative judicial system when applying for the renunciation of his citizenship. It is a practice, and the law, that a US citizen born in another country applying for renunciation such person undergoes a thorough scrutiny in the US Department of Treasury and the Department of Homeland Security.

    Taking into account his previous role in Sri Lanka, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was directly liable under the War Crimes Act – a legal windfall for any US effort to investigate him across international borders. His citizenship also expands US policy space – by reducing US vulnerability to accusations of meddling if US goes after one of its own. Such investigations take many months to ascertain a person’s culpability or not. Taking into account the diplomatic cables that reached Washington and the published unclassified (USG) documents about Sri Lanka’s Eelam War IV and the role played by defense secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, one of the principal architects of the offensive against the Tamil Tigers, the responsibility of probing an American citizen’s involvement – amid serious allegations – rests with the US Department of Homeland Security. In the DHS, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) operates the Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Unit (HRVWCU) within the National Security Investigations Division (NSID).

    Washington formulates its national policies in the interest of its national security and trade and economic benefit. Washington, to its advantage, obviously linked the militarization of the Indo-Pacific region to Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s application for the renunciation of the U.S. citizenship as it was well aware that if it delayed the renunciation in prolonging a DHS probe based on the reports the Departments of State received – however much there may be weak or no justification of war crimes and human rights abuses – it would have been detrimental to his political aspirations. The gamble Washington took in a speedy resolution of his citizenship issue in linking it to ACSA and other proposed military agreements such as SOFA is its overall militarization of the Indo-Pacific region which the Trump administration launched since its advent in early 2017. Washington needs Sri Lanka as a military hub as opposed to opening a military base to execute its Indo-Pacific regional militarization plan. The speedy resolution of the citizenship issue is well linked to America’s strategy to use Sri Lanka in such a manner under a Rajapaksa administration.

  7. Vaisrawana Says:

    Thank you, Shenali this explanation of the content of Gotabhaya’s speech on the occasion of the formal declaration of his nomination as the SLPP candidate for president for readers around the world. Frankly, that speech is unprecedented. No prospective presidential or prime ministerial candidate has ever before delivered such an impressive speech as far as I can remember over the past 50 years (i.e., since 1970). Gota is unique in some important ways: his illustrious military background, high intellect, devotion to duty, personal discipline, clear vision as a leader, patriotism, honesty, and no nonsense approach to administration, and unblemished clean image. These qualities were reflected in his speech, which was delivered unscripted.

  8. dingiri bandara Says:

    Are not most of Western governments, its leaders and the military not guilty of war crimes?

  9. Ananda-USA Says:

    Dilrook,

    Daya Gamage is proven biased UNP partisan. Nothing he says is uncolored by his political affiliation. We don’t need Daya Gamage to explain to us the US State Dept’s decision making process.

    It is all self-serving political crap designed to cast negative aspersions on Gotabhya’s character and motivations, and the “dangers” of the coming new administration.

    If anyone was biased towards pleasing foreign powers at the expense of Sri Lanka, it was the Yamapalanaya!

    You should know that better than anybody!

  10. Dilrook Says:

    Surely Yamapalanaya is pro-USA but that doesn’t excuse the others to be so.

    Same with war crimes. Just because US presidents and US military have war crimes allegations does not mean Sri Lanka too must have such people. USA gets away with actual war crimes but Sri Lankans with US citizenship cannot escape even allegations (without giving something very seriously valuable to USA).

    The best judge will be facts. We have to wait and see.

    1/ Will GR’s regime cancel the 83 page new ACSA?
    2/ Will GR’s regime refuse sign MCC and SOFA?
    3/ Will GR’s regime take back Hambantota from China?
    4/ Will GR’ regime unify Sri Lanka (by abrogating 13A that divided the island into 9 pieces)?

    My answers are in the negative for all these vital national security issues.

    But not to worry Ananda. This is a huge political advantage. Now USA will not disrupt GR’s election campaign as it disrupted Mahinda in 2005, 2010 and 2015. (Guess which entity/non-entity suffers.)

  11. Randeniyage Says:

    @Dilrook
    This was my fear since 2016, knowing vulnerable people can be desperate. One could stand the ground only if 100% clean.
    I don’t know how many people 100% honestly love the country nowadays. Even if they exist they get disgusted seeing no support. No one can be trusted.

    However, time to make strong demands and keep on fighting. Stop jubilation and love for politicians.

  12. Mario Perera Says:

    ”Stop jubilation and love for politicians.” – Randeniyage

    Very sound advise for the vast majority of Lankaweb contributors.

    One thing to remember regarding GR. He has not yet won!!

    Now to the question on whose vote will he depend for election? My hunch is that the radical Sinhala-Buddhist vote will be in his favour. But they are not the only segment of Sinhala voters although strong in numbers.

    The final result will hinge on the vote of the Tamils and the Muslims. the North will very probably not come out for GR. So too the Muslim East. The same with the plantation Tamils.

    In the final analysis, a GR vs Sajith contest will be very similar to the UNP backed Sirisena vs Mahinda contest. We know who won that clash.

    After everything is said and one, the prevailing slogan should be: do not count the chicks until they are hatched!

    Also, pinpointing the negatives as regards GR does not mean being treacherous towards the Motherland. GR has entered the race with many ‘swords of Damocles’ hanging over his head. There are cases against him here and abroad. some prominent dead personalities are crying out towards him for vengeance. So too some who have disappeared, or have been driven from the Motherland due to White Van threats from him. If he reaches the top spot all this will not be subdued but intensified. We know the reactions of the Tamil block to Mahinda whenever he visited Europe. We know the reactions to Shavendra in the USA. They will reach a high point for GR.

    Sure security is a major matter of concern. But even more so is the Economy. We know that this country is engulfed in debts and massively indebted to some countries more than to others. The country is handcuffed and in shackles. Those countries will not let go of their grip on us. GR will not have an independent set of advisors. They will be the same party men. Unfortunately, unlike wine, old contents do not mature within those old containers.

    The most certain thing that strikes out over this din and clatter, is that an eventual GR presidency will not turnout to be an Aladdin’s magic lamp or a magic wand or an ‘open sesame’. It will be all this for individuals, especially for the Rajapakse clan, but not for the country. Namal putha is probably already thinking of organizing his car racing in the sacred city to the utter dismay of the ‘dalada hamuduruwo’.

    All said and done, GR brave speech which won plaudits on Lankaweb will ultimately have to be taken with a pinch of salt. In this country the ‘kathawa’ always travels on palanquins, and supporters abound to carry those palanquins on their shoulders even when the speaker lags far behind on foot.

    Mario Perera, Kadawata

  13. Ananda-USA Says:

    Between Dilrook, Randeniyage, and Mario Perera we have an avalanche of cold water and persistent negativity being poured on Gota’s candidacy.

    But it will be to no avail, and will slide off Gota’s campaign like water off a duck’s back!

    The votes that will propel Gotabhaya to the Presidency will primarily come from the Sinhala people, both Buddhist and Christian.

    In particular, the Sinhala vote for the UNP will drop through the floor., and the UNP will suffer an unprecented loss.

    Also, there will be more many more Tamil and Muslim votes for Gota from moderates of those two communities disaffected with the TNA, SLMC and the UNP, than anyonewith a conventional mindset expects!

    We will wait and see who is right, it wont be too long a wait!

  14. Dilrook Says:

    @Ananda

    Surely Gota is going to win. It is a foregone conclusion.

    However, his current circumstances don’t augment well for the nation. This is not his fault (emphasis). It is due to his unfortunate circumstances owing to US citizenship of him (despite revoking he is still liable under US law for anything done when he was a US citizen) and family, and his political family members.

    I was the fiercest defender of Gotabaya from 2005 to 2012. No one defended him as I did. That was because he was a god sent defender of the nation at that time and I had no doubt from the first defence staff meeting he had which was reported in selected media.

    “http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2012/06/27/a-loathsome-campaign-against-the-defence-secretary-by-corrupt-ngo-carrion-birds/>”

    I have not changed and Gota has not changed (very much)! But the circumstances have changed. I don’t expect you to apprehend the impact of changed circumstances.

  15. Randeniyage Says:

    Also, pinpointing the negatives as regards GR does not mean being treacherous towards the Motherland.– Mario

    Make no mistake I am not pinpointing negatives on ANY candidate. If there were NO negatives, pointer will not hit.

    I am simply suggesting “Let us make demands that are essential for the betterment of the motherland”.

    What is wrong in this, specially when those essential policies have not come out from a particular candidate ?

    Are we to TRUST one candidate just because most people blindly follow like a herd of cows ? Nothing wrong in following the others if this clan has not ruled the motherland previously. But unfortunately these people have ruled the land for 15 years and created massive problems such as Wilpattu and Baticaloa. Sure , others are much worse, but shouldn’t we make demands ?

    Tell me if I am wrong on this rather than condemning us !

  16. Dilrook Says:

    85% of voters are simply cattle. They simply cannot think and change. They cannot effect a regime change.

    The battle is for the 15% floating voters. They decide the future.

    As the circumstances relating to potential presidents stand, Sri Lanka as it is cannot be defended.

    Two schools of thought.

    1. We should make demands. At least we will get there in 2024.

    2. We should have a Plan B for the crown jewels of the nation when ACSA, MCC, SOFA, R2P, extortion through war crimes allegatons and the presidential election itself divide the nation.

    I agree with both.

    Daya Gamage has given an excellent and legal explanation of how war crimes extortion is done by USA. I said so all along. If bulls are on rampage you don’t wave red rags to them or run towards them (unless in Spain). You pick another avenue. Most Sri Lankans simply run towards the danger and hold on to metal objects out in the open when it is lightening.

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