SLPP presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa today pledged to take the Tamil community in the North and East to the future from the past to which they have been confined.
Mr. Rajapaksa, who is in the North attending election rallies, said some people did their best to confine Tamils to the past.
“I am ready to show you the future and I have an action plan to do that. We have already forwarded our plan to generate employment and educational opportunities,” he said addressing a rally in Vavuniya.
Commenting on the issue of poverty in the North, he said he had a programme to provide government jobs to at least one member in each poverty-stricken family.
“We are the ones who created an environment for you to live in peace and harmony. We are not the ones who disrupted peace. We have made plans to invest more to scout skilled youth who may not have adequate educational qualifications and to provide them jobs. The former regime carried out a number of development projects countrywide, but the incumbent government has failed to keep up the momentum. I invite you to give us the power to continue with development projects,” he said.
Mr. Rajapaksa said the writing off of farmer loans and free fertiliser would immensely benefit people in the North and East. He invited the northerners not to fall prey to rumours.
“Our country is Sri Lanka. All of us should think like Sri Lankans. We will ensure a peaceful country where everyone can live in harmony. Some spread false rumours among the Muslim and Tamil communities. That was one reason why President Mahinda Rajapaksa lost the election. Therefore, don’t fall prey to false reports. We are capable of ensuring development just like we did in the past. It is through development that we can solve the issues related to education, life and employment. Therefore, I invite you to place your faith in us,” he said. (Romesh Madushanka)