Addressing a large crowd that had gathered at the ‘Jana Satana’ rally organised by the joint opposition against the UNP - led government in Colombo today, former president, Mahinda Rajapaksa said he would show them how the country should be run if it were handed over to him -- as the government was doing an abysmal job of it.
“If you can’t run the country, give it to me. I will show you how to run it,” said Mr. Rajapaksa, at the rally held at Hyde Park -- which was attended by 46 MPs of the joint opposition, including Chamal Rajapaksa and four SLFP vice presidents.
The former president said the government was taking revenge on its political opponents and accusing the previous government of causing an economic crisis and various other problems in the country, in an attempt to cover up the its ineptitude.
He said he, too, could have pulled skeletons out of closets but had decided to develop the country instead. “If I had searched closets, I would have found skeletons too. But I decided not to do so when I took over the country,” he said.
Mr. Rajapaksa said he had built expressways, ports, power plants and airports with the loans he had obtained during his tenure. He said the government had not even built a culvert after obtaining US$ 6,361 million worth of loans last year.
He said the government accused him of obtaining loans without declaring them and also said that that was why the government had to increase taxes. “The government should have refused to repay the loans if they were obtained in a secret manner. Then there would have been no problem,” he said.
He pledged to remain in politics even if he and his entire family were put behind bars. “I will engage in politics for the sake of the people of this country even if my entire family is put in jail,” he said.
MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage said the government led by the UNP was leading the country towards anarchy and an economic crisis and that the joint opposition would send it home. “Jana Satana is the first move towards achieving that goal,” he said.
MP Kumara Welgama faulted SLFP Minister S. B. Dissanayake for leaving the party more than once and for threatening disciplinary action against SLFP MPs who attended the rally. “Mahinda Rajapaksa never left the party -- unlike Chandrika Kumaratunga and S.B. Dissanayake. S.B. Dissanayake has lost direction and knows nothing about what he speaks of,” he said.
NFF Leader Wimal Weerawansa said Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had increased taxes and put people into difficulties but had increased the privileges of ministers. “Bitter medicine for the general public and sweet medicine for the ministers from Dr. Wickremesinghe,” he said.
He said the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) which had criticised the excessive number of ministers in the previous government, had sold itself to the UNP. He critisised JVP leader Anura Kumara Disssanayake for remaining silent on the appointment of ministers.
MP Udaya Gammanpila said the joint opposition was ready to take over the reins. “The government is ruining the country. We can’t wait any longer. We are ready to take over,” he said.
Janatha Sevaka Party leader Somawansa Amarasinghe said he would pledge support to any people's movement which opposed the UNP and imperialism.
“If there are real anti-UNPers, this is the place for them. Prime Minister Wickremesinghe should stop his traitorous actions. We wish to remind him that he was sent home after two years in power, in 2004; and that we can still do it,” he said.
Joint opposition leader Dinesh Gunawardane, Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Bandula Gunawardane, Rohitha Abeygunawardana, Gamini Lokuge Professor Tissa Vitharana, former chief justice Sarath N. Silva, trade union activist W.H. Piyadasa and songstress Neela Wickramasinghe also spoke at the rally. (Lahiru Pothmulla)
@nims.Yes nims, there is.No more rapes, assaults, attacks on media etc.
ind Friday, 18 March 2016 12:40 PM
how many times Ranil was rejected. I think more than 20 !!!
Chinthaka Friday, 18 March 2016 12:49 PM
THE PEOPLE ARE WITH MAHINDA NOT WITH SIRISENA. THAT IS THE REALITY SHOWN IN MASSIVE CROWD GATHERED YEATERDAY. PROBABLY TO HAVE A GENUINE OPPOSITION INSTEAD OF JVP TNA PESUDO OPPOSITION, JUST CREATED BY THE GOVERNMENT, SIRISENA SHOULD HAND OVER SLFP TO MAHINDA.
RAVI Friday, 18 March 2016 01:36 PM
IF YOU CANT RUN GIVE IT TO ME I WILL RUIN THE COUNTRY JUST LIKE I DID LAST TIME.
REALPATRIAT Friday, 18 March 2016 07:36 AM
POWER CRAZY MAN HE WANTS TO MAKE SRI LANKA A LAW LESS COUNTRY AGAIN WITH HIS GANG. via DM Android App
Kiris Baba Amaray Friday, 18 March 2016 07:39 AM
Get lost ....?
J Palitha Friday, 18 March 2016 07:40 AM
tissa Friday, 18 March 2016 02:34 PM
If you cannot ruined the country let me Finnish the balance. Mahinda via DM Android App
REALPATRIAT Friday, 18 March 2016 07:46 AM
ITS MUCH BETTER FOR HIM TO REST AT HOME AT THIS OLD. via DM Android App
ruwan Friday, 18 March 2016 02:50 PM
MR should read the Happiness Index Report
renu Friday, 18 March 2016 02:54 PM
Handover again Is he talking Bull Dust. Go fly a kite
Boonda Friday, 18 March 2016 02:57 PM
@ind: Ranil is not the bid boss still, but MS is!
Hunais Friday, 18 March 2016 03:03 PM
They are not PA supporters. They are the paid crowd, pulled out from all parts of the island.
TONY Friday, 18 March 2016 03:07 PM
DONT WORRY, YOU CAN BE IN POLITICS FOR EVER BUT THE PEOPLE WILL NEVER RETURN YOU FOR POWER
onlooker Friday, 18 March 2016 03:27 PM
May be RW type of media freedom. The law is conserved so well now , the reason for daily killings and murders.
onlooker Friday, 18 March 2016 03:28 PM
No media to attack now, attack o l protesting students.
onlooker Friday, 18 March 2016 03:30 PM
Vocabulary itself speaks of what yahapalana is all about.
dcn Friday, 18 March 2016 03:30 PM
MR is dreaming he would get back power thru the back door even .
onlooker Friday, 18 March 2016 03:33 PM
Those who are ruining our country on the pretext of yahapalana should be made to run.
nanda Friday, 18 March 2016 09:42 AM
Are you going to make a comeback with this type of politicians ?
suresh Friday, 18 March 2016 09:45 AM
people have already rejected you twice, so get lost
looser clubwhat is that CJ doing here, seems no principles. must be the worst unprincipled CJ in he world
Thomas Friday, 18 March 2016 09:52 AM
You had 10 years and ruined our country and our liberty
Fassey Friday, 18 March 2016 09:56 AM
Wait for another five years and get your chance. We are too tired of your arrogant rule so take rest and let us be free.
Nims Friday, 18 March 2016 09:57 AM
Is there a law in the country now?
Titanic Friday, 18 March 2016 09:57 AM
pls god sake go to Mattala via DM Android App
reader Friday, 18 March 2016 04:03 PM
Ha ha ha ha ha.... wait.. its not a joke?
Nims Friday, 18 March 2016 09:58 AM
How old was JRJ when he retired from politics?
Silva Friday, 18 March 2016 09:59 AM
OGM for what fun ? plunder again ?
samitha Friday, 18 March 2016 10:06 AM
Ceylonese Friday, 18 March 2016 10:08 AM
Say it in Singhala, he wont understand.
rajik Friday, 18 March 2016 10:13 AM
to achieve the following1.to create a power plant that always breaks down2.to create an air port where no planes land3.to create a harbor where only flat bed ships can come
Aba Jayasekera Friday, 18 March 2016 04:15 PM
MR should have said "IF YOU CANNOT RUIN THE COUNTRY GIVE IT OVER TO ME "
Moda Putha Friday, 18 March 2016 04:19 PM
Is law prevailing now?
Jasintha Friday, 18 March 2016 10:15 AM
As usual WW seriously spoiled the meeting with his speech
Aba Jayasekera Friday, 18 March 2016 04:20 PM
He would have actually meant to say RUIN not RUN
Boonda Friday, 18 March 2016 04:33 PM
Be vary of big crowd. They let you down twice. They may be SLFP supporters and not necessarily MR supporters.
Arnolis Friday, 18 March 2016 10:19 AM
There is no Jana satana. This is only HORU satana! We have seen you take the country to the brink of another civil war and we have seen your sons flaunt OUR money by way of Lamboginis, etc. So please NEVER AGAIN!!
Shifa Friday, 18 March 2016 10:26 AM
Oh! Seriously? So that you could cheat again? OMG help us!
BV Friday, 18 March 2016 05:25 PM
DO YOU THINK WE HAVE COME FROM ANGODA via DM Android App
Ajith Wednesday, 23 March 2016 02:48 PM
Gain? for this idiot? oh lord you plundered enough.
Prem Saturday, 19 March 2016 09:46 PM
From whom you ask? Only hierarchy could be bestowed. People elected gevernment could not be.
Comments will be edited (grammar, spelling and slang) and authorized at the discretion of Daily Mirror online. The website also has the right not to publish selected comments.