SLPP presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa said if elected president, he would hold himself responsible for all the communities in the country and not just a single community.
He said this at the event titled, ‘The Turning Point’ which was organised by the National Muslim Collective held in Colombo Thursday night.
While inviting the people to place their trust in him, Mr. Rajapaksa said he had fulfilled the responsibilities handed over to him 100%.
“I will be responsible for not one but all communities including the Sinhalese, Tamils and the Muslims. I will ensure that state sponsorship will be given to create a Sri Lanka where everyone can live proudly without fear by winning the trust of all communities,” he said.
Mr. Rajapaksa said a government led by him would not allow any form of extremist terrorism to raise its head in the country. “I will fulfil the objective of reviving the economy and ensuring security for everyone. We will create an environment where everyone can practice their religion peacefully,” Mr. Rajapaksa said.
Commenting on the war victory, he said, “Our post-war achievements were greater than defeating terrorism. Neither we started the war nor we fought the war with the Tamil community. Our war was with the LTTE. That’s why we implemented massive development projects in the North to improve the livelihood of the people there”.
Mr. Rajapaksa said the former Rajapaksa Government’s reconciliation and rebuilding efforts did not receive due attention.
“We had one of the most successful rehabilitation programmes in the world to rehabilitate former LTTE cadres. The provincial council system was introduced as a solution to the issue of the Tamil people and only the Rajapaksa Government was able to hold the election to the Northern Provincial Council establishing democracy there,” he said.
Meanwhile, he responded to a comment made by Ali Sabry PC who spoke prior to Mr. Rajapaksa at the event that the SLPP would get about 35% Muslim votes at the presidential election and their target is to increase it to 50%.
“Ali Sabry PC said we have 35%. I'm surprised why its 35% and not 65%,” Mr. Rajapaksa said to the crowd which cheered in response.
He said the people wanted to see a change in the political culture in the country. SLPP and Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa, Governor A.J.M. Muzammil, MPs Faizer Mustapha and Mahinda Amaraweera were also present at the event. (Lahiru Pothmulla)