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Will cut my throat if there's evidence that I robbed even one dollar: MR

20 June 2016 02:55 pm - 46     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was on a visit to Japan, said at an interview that he would cut his throat if there was evidence to implicate him in the stealing of public funds.

Responding to a question during an interview with the Japan Times about corruption allegations,  he said, “They allege that I have stolen $18 billion, but if they find evidence of even $1, I will cut my throat.”

When asked about future plans, Mr. Rajapaksa said he was barred from seeking a third term as president, but flashing his signature smile, he did not rule out running for prime minister. “Politicians never retire,” he said.


The Japan Times report follows:

Former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was commander-in-chief during the last stage of the war, is unapologetic about the consequences. He recently told me that it was war and thus victory was essential, an outcome that he says was widely desired and welcomed by the public. Asked how he reconciled being a devout Buddhist and commander-in-chief, he argued that his goal was peace.

In his view, Tiger leader Prabhakaran misjudged the situation, hoping that international pressure in response to the carnage would force the state to back off. Prabhakaran, in Rajapaksa’s view, was “too full of himself,” failing to understand that this time the state had no intention of allowing the Tigers to regroup.

Although Rajapaksa eradicated terrorism and raised living standards, he lost the 2015 elections. He attributes his defeat to resentment against him from Muslims (9.7 percent of the population, according to a 2012 census) and Sri Lankan and Indian Tamils (15.2 percent), and to the Sinhalese harboring unrealistic expectations who took what he delivered for granted.

Asked if he had any regrets, Rajapaksa says he trusted people too much. Regarding the scars of war in this traumatized nation, he says that he has promoted reconciliation by returning land to the Tamils and investing heavily in infrastructure and development projects in the northeast, helping them to begin restoring their lives after three decades of war. Asked why the Sri Lankan Navy is operating luxury resorts on unreturned land, he says it is important to give them something to do.

It is easy to understand why Rajapaksa is described as the “affable authoritarian,” exuding bonhomie and a steely will. He artfully parries awkward questions about the need for justice and accountability for war crimes. In his view, there is no need for an international tribunal because Sri Lanka has the judicial expertise to conduct its own reckoning. When I pointed out that President Maithripala Sirisena has yet to follow through on his pledge to establish a truth and reconciliation commission, Rajapaksa says that starting this process was his idea, having sent a mission to learn lessons from South Africa’s experience, but the international community opposed this initiative. Pressed to explain what he would do to promote future reconciliation, Rajapaksa offered no vision for healing the wounds other than stressing that the priority should be on promoting economic development and raising living standards.

Regarding Asian leaders, he admires authoritarians such as Singapore’s founding prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, and former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who both boosted the economies of their nations. But he is more skeptical about Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, another devout Buddhist leader presiding over a country troubled by endemic inter-ethnic conflict and religious tensions. I drew attention to her desire to attain freedom from fear, and how Sri Lanka’s lingering culture of war makes this goal elusive. He agreed it made sense in theory, but expressed uncertainty about how to proceed, adding that now she faces the burden of delivering on her promises.

He stopped short of condemning Sri Lanka’s militant monks and extremist Buddhist organizations for advocating and engaging in violence targeting Muslims, but did say that it is not consistent with public sentiments.

Asked about continued abductions and the silencing of critics by state forces, Rajapaksa maintained that this is no longer the case. A January 2016 report by the International Truth & Justice Project Sri Lanka — “Silenced: Survivors of Torture and Sexual Violence in 2015″ — provides compelling evidence to the contrary.

Has press freedom improved under his successor? Rajapaksa doesn’t think so, saying the media is controlled by the government and is subject to various threats. He also brushes aside accusations about the murder and disappearance of journalists on his watch. When asked about a journalist whose posthumous final column implicated Rajapaksa in his anticipated murder, he points out that in parliament Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, his political rival, accused a prominent ex-general of ordering the hit.

“Twelve thousand Tigers were released from detention without trial,” says Rajapaksa, adding that there are no more political prisoners in Sri Lanka except for him and his family, who are subject to harassment by the media and government. He bitterly complained about his son’s arrest, and that he has not been allocated an official bungalow — a privilege extended to other ex-presidents.

And corruption allegations? “They say I have stolen $18 billion, but if they find evidence of even $1, I will cut my throat,” he says, claiming that evidence has come out implicating the current president.

Asked about future plans, Rajapaksa pointed out that now he is barred from seeking a third term as president, but, flashing his signature smile, did not rule out running for prime minister. “Politicians never retire,” he says.

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  Comments - 46

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  • Tax Payer Monday, 20 June 2016 03:48 PM

    He is correct. We will not find any evidence as assets are expertly hidden. via DM Android App

    man cutter from sapan Monday, 20 June 2016 03:53 PM

    Cut your throt 2 billion times. You may even will not die.

    Lanka Banana Monday, 20 June 2016 03:55 PM

    Seems he got full confidence of his associates helped him.

    ANTON Monday, 20 June 2016 03:58 PM

    IF YOU CUT YOUR THROAT , I WILL CUT MINE TOO.

    Labby Monday, 20 June 2016 04:06 PM

    Read between the lines and see. He is not saying he robbed, instead he's saying that there is no evidence to it. Anyway thats what he thinks. The world will soon know.

    lkboy Monday, 20 June 2016 04:10 PM

    Didnt he once volunteer to the Electric chair?

    Amila.G Tuesday, 21 June 2016 10:08 AM

    Typical Mahinda statement .

    glen Monday, 20 June 2016 04:14 PM

    ha ha ha.... what a joke hes become a jonah now... via DM Android App

    Sincere Tuesday, 21 June 2016 10:50 PM

    Not just a "single dollar" but ........... Good logic!

    Sincere Tuesday, 21 June 2016 10:52 PM

    His logic is right. Not "one-dollar" but many dollars!

    ananda Monday, 20 June 2016 04:22 PM

    We all know who MR is. He has now implicated President Sirisena of fraud and of having evidence. Is MS silent because the allegation is true. via DM Android App

    Sri Lankan Monday, 20 June 2016 04:25 PM

    Dear Prime Minister RW. Can you please do the honors as requested by MR so that we can permanently get rid of this nuisance factor and get on with resurrecting the economy to its feet once again

    ajith Monday, 20 June 2016 04:31 PM

    Radio transmitter from China which was given to your son is more than $1. do the honours

    chux Monday, 20 June 2016 04:37 PM

    Pls pay the government bills such as CTB bills for using buses in your campaign .Pls do not try to be a saint we all know what you and the henchmen have done.

    ANTON Monday, 20 June 2016 04:42 PM

    SIR, YOU HAVE NO NECK, YOUR NECK HAD ALREADY BEEN CUT BY SOME OF YOUR PARTY PARTY MEMBERS.

    Harry Wednesday, 22 June 2016 05:14 PM

    My sympathies with majority of comments as nothing was proved only allegations - for how long we have to wait just like the fox that followed a goat until the 'hanging'once are fallen!

    arnold Monday, 20 June 2016 05:01 PM

    Joke of the year. Of course with money and power comes many friends and cronies who could hide anything anywhere.

    Maya Monday, 20 June 2016 05:03 PM

    We know that you are not a fool to have all in your name!

    AshyD Tuesday, 21 June 2016 11:11 AM

    Rubber throat.

    mark Monday, 20 June 2016 05:07 PM

    Politician never retire as need to rob more.

    Stunned Citizen Monday, 20 June 2016 05:09 PM

    Waiting for that Day!

    raj Monday, 20 June 2016 05:11 PM

    what a saint?

    Daily boru Tuesday, 21 June 2016 11:32 AM

    My contribution will be a sharp knife.

    Gota Tuesday, 21 June 2016 11:42 AM

    There will be no EVIDENCE of my Croocked Deals and CRIMES.Well chosen words of a Cunning CROOK !!

    gamini.seekkubadu Monday, 20 June 2016 05:26 PM

    Ops....21st century Joke.....!!

    Sri Lankan Tuesday, 21 June 2016 11:46 AM

    It is best to cut your belly as you are in Japan and commit Hari Kari without returning to Sri Lanka!!!!

    Rajeeva Monday, 20 June 2016 05:26 PM

    big liar via DM iOS App

    TJ Monday, 20 June 2016 05:36 PM

    Why this "kola veri"?

    IVJ Monday, 20 June 2016 06:08 PM

    It's such a shame to see our suppose to be statement going to such a low level. Pathetic.

    Hadi. Sheriff Monday, 20 June 2016 06:13 PM

    Which fool will rob with evidence ,you have plenty of trusted proxies.

    Lawry Monday, 20 June 2016 06:14 PM

    Tell that to Sarath N Silva. Praise be to him

    ahamed Monday, 20 June 2016 06:15 PM

    he has taken years to deliver this message during that period what happend??

    Lal Monday, 20 June 2016 06:20 PM

    Aussie businessman is already coming to SL against gammanpila

    Rhonda Taylor Tuesday, 21 June 2016 01:10 PM

    The best thing to do is this:--STOP MAKING STUPID PEOPLE POPULARIgnore this down rotten family completely - this will teach them a lesson for life

    Ex President Monday, 20 June 2016 07:10 PM

    Oops not one by one but thosand via DM Android App

    usuf Tuesday, 21 June 2016 01:35 PM

    U may not have robbed directly but u r answerable for the millions robbed by ur family members & your thugs via DM Android App

    Lanka Monday, 20 June 2016 08:09 PM

    Did Sri Lanka have $18 billion for you to rob?

    vithura Monday, 20 June 2016 08:11 PM

    Yeah, sure he knows about slitting throats, they were the masters of it!

    Shan Monday, 20 June 2016 08:11 PM

    Instead cut the belly, at least some billions may be found there

    Arjuna Ranawana Monday, 20 June 2016 08:19 PM

    Hon. MP ? . Don't talk nonsense . People will decided id by next election. Not only you but all of regime people .

    roshan Monday, 20 June 2016 08:23 PM

    then helping hambantota???????? where is sarath n silva corrupt CJ, did the miney come from the sky to you, your wife, children, brothers and family.. u all are robbing form the innocent man on the street who paid by taxes to your hora regime. The God is waiting to punish u old man......

    krishna Monday, 20 June 2016 09:08 PM

    What do you say about Tsunami monies.

    Musthaque Monday, 20 June 2016 09:16 PM

    I wonder how many times he got to cut his throat.

    Hiran Monday, 20 June 2016 09:24 PM

    Did you rob in rupees sir?

    OMG Tuesday, 21 June 2016 05:04 PM

    MR pressed the panic button, he already feeling the heat. Thats why he is running to countries stating going on people invitation. Where were these people all this time. Maybe he wants to enjoy some of the stolen money before he cuts his throat.

    Gihan De Saram Tuesday, 21 June 2016 05:05 PM

    His ambition to contest for the next Premiership alone is an evidence how greedy he is to rob again. Now MR and his Bro Gota are rejected.


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