Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a statement today charged that a media blitz had been unleashed to vilify him and mislead the public instead of following a proper procedure to act on allegeations of wrongdoing against anybody.
To the Venerable Maha Sangha, all Reverend Clergymen and the People of Sri Lanka,
Numerous allegations have been levelled against me, my family and my government both before and after the recent presidential election. If there are allegations of wrongdoing against anybody, there are established procedures that can be followed. What we see instead is a media blitz meant to vilify me and to mislead the public. I wish to state my position on these matters so that the people will not be misled by this unprecedented campaign of vilification by interested parties.
The allegation has been made that I attempted to launch a military coup in the early hours of the 9th January. On the contrary, I conceded defeat and having discussed matters with the then opposition leader Mr Ranil Wickremesinghe, left Temple Trees several hours before the final results were announced.
The accusation that I sought the Attorney General’s advice on how to remain in power illegally is by its very nature, an absurdity. I was saddened by the comments made about this alleged incident and other matters by the incumbent president at a rally in Polonnaruwa. It is with deep regret that I state that I am not being allowed to spend my days in peace even after leaving office.
Images of the interior of Temple Trees have been disseminated with the insinuation that I and my family had led an extravagant lifestyle at state expense. Attention was focused on an air conditioned rest room with TV and attached baththroom. This particular section of the Temple Trees premises was fully refurbished for the 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in accordance with international specifications. An exhibition and a banquet for the visiting heads of state were held there. Over the past decade all foreign dignitaries visiting Sri Lanka have been received at Temple Trees and the quality of the facilities available had to suit the purpose.
Raids have been conducted by self appointed anti-corruption campaigners and the police to uncover evidence of waste, corruption and misuse of state funds by my government. A stock of plastic wall clocks with my likeness, a stock of tea cups with the ‘sataka’ symbol, stickers, posters and calendars have been shown on TV with the insinuation that the very existence of such items points to wrongdoing. Yet the people know that the possession of items like that by various individuals cannot possibly constitute a crime or an abuse of power. There was even an accusation that my wife had been involved in a scam trying to sell 100 kilos of gold belonging to no less an institution than the Treasury. Since the police have already responded to that ridiculous allegation, I do not wish to say anything further on that matter other than to point out that gold belonging to the treasury cannot be sold in that manner even by the Secretary to the Treasury leave alone the first lady!
Vehicles that even remotely resemble sports cars are being taken by the police from the houses of their owners in their search for Lamborghinis belonging to my sons. But no Lamborghinis were found. My property in Weeraketiya was raided in search of a seaplane. Two containers of personal belongings of my family have been examined by the police on suspicion of being items ‘stolen’ from Temple Trees. These items were stored in containers because I had no place to go to in Colombo after vacating my official residence. They will remain in the containers until I receive the official residence due to a former president.
My government carried out more development work in this country than any other government in post independence history. These unprecedented achievements were belittled in the eyes of the public during the presidential election campaign with the malicious propaganda that the costs of these infrastructure projects had been overpriced three to tenfold and huge kickbacks taken by politicians and officials in my government. The estimates for all infrastructure projects are made by Technical Evaluation Committees (TECs) made up of well qualified and reputed engineers.
The project is then evaluated by a cabinet appointed tender board which is made up of the most senior civil servants in the country. Every agreement signed with a foreign lending agency is vetted by the Attorney General and it has to receive final approval from the cabinet. Sri Lanka is now a middle income country and not entitled to development assistance. Therefore, my government used concessionary financing arrangements with the ADB, World Bank, and the Japanese, Chinese and Indian governments for the implementation of certain development projects. If the cost of a project is to be artificially inflated as some have alleged, there will have to be collusion between all the relevant bodies of the government, the international project consultants who design and supervise the project from start to finish, the contractor and the lending agency - a process involving scores of individuals and therefore virtually impossible.
Some say that the main contractor in some projects subcontracts some of the work to others at a lower cost and therefore the entire project can be done at that lower price. The usual practice in the construction industry is that sub-contractors are brought in for certain tasks while the main contractors do the more important tasks themselves. However, the responsibility for the entire project rests with the main contractor.
At times segments of the same project are financed by different lenders. Two segments of the Southern Highway were financed by Japan and one segment by China. Similarly, two segments of the Outer Circular Highway were financed by Japan and one segment by China. It is the Chinese funded projects that have been singled out for criticism. China is a country that has helped all Sri Lankan governments for over six decades. Like all international lending organisations the China Exim Bank also has procedures in place to ensure the integrity of their transactions. I wish to suggest to those concerned that this maligning of a friendly country that has helped us so generously over many decades should stop.
Outrageous and totally unsubstantiated accusations against me were disseminated through various websites and social media networks such as facebook both before and after the election. I self-critically admit that my government did not take these baseless allegations seriously and counter them in time.
However, I am confident that the truth will prevail one day.
Richard de Zoysa Thursday, 29 January 2015 10:40 AM
Lets be grateful to a man who lent his leadership to ushering in peace and stability. If the former President and his government have abused power and were corrupt let the proper legal process be applied leaving them to face the consequences.As intelligent citizens I think that we should all be all agreed on this course of action.
seneviratne Friday, 06 February 2015 02:33 PM
Yesterday, Hon minister Rajitha Senaratne stated that the they will proceed with the Harbour Project and the Chinese government is totally funding the Project. But prior to the elections it was a different story altogether. At almost every election rally it was a case of selling Sri Lanka to Chinese.Now the present President will be visiting China.Hence, it is obvious that most of the allegations made against the ex President are baseless outrageous allegations.This format will continue until the end of the general elections. Similar accusations were made against President Premadasa too. and to a lesser extent against President Chandrika too. Never a dull moment in Sri Lankan politics.
Katie Wednesday, 28 January 2015 02:12 PM
Wonder how these thoughts did not come to him when he was in power??? Media blitz to vilify him - what about the media biltz during his tenure?? talk about that please.
jay Wednesday, 28 January 2015 10:59 AM
wait and see the prices will be increased after the general elections
old citizen Wednesday, 28 January 2015 04:29 PM
Kala. Kala De Pala. Pala De.
Bubble Banda Tuesday, 27 January 2015 10:12 PM
Now he is like - a man with clean suit, but empty pocket without illegal income.
Desmond Jeromme Tuesday, 27 January 2015 10:15 PM
This statement is from a Great Actor, read it and laugh at him. Anney Pow....
Price Tuesday, 27 January 2015 10:19 PM
Sleeping president reduced, Rs.30 Oil prices!!!
loyal lankan Tuesday, 27 January 2015 04:34 PM
the truth has come , destroying your nation with your commissions you thief you belong in UNHRC courts
Prince Tuesday, 27 January 2015 04:35 PM
there has to some base on these allegations. If not he can go to courts specially on allegations of his wife. If not there has to be some truth is these for him not doing so.
Yoosuf Tuesday, 27 January 2015 04:40 PM
May the blessings of the triple gem be upon you Mahinda Rajapaksa Current looser of Sri Lanka
Gemba Tuesday, 27 January 2015 04:41 PM
Aney mage kata !!!!!! We all know what type of MEDIA BLITZ that you carried out shamefully even against your own former General Secretary, when tables got turned. Development is not about building highways and buildings. Look at the state of the ordinary people of the country. Tell us JUST ONE THING Sir, who will now PAY FOR THE HELICOPTER flights that YOUR SON took. Isnt this a big damage to our already fragile economy ? How about the losses to RUPAVAHINI just to make your Sons business of CARLTON SPORTS rich? There are many questions to which you cannot answer. So the BOOMERANG has returned to you, so accept it LIKE A MAN. You assumed you were a KING be a KING and absorb all this LIKE A KING.
DAllas Tuesday, 27 January 2015 04:44 PM
Dear Mr President,Your service to SL is unparalled.You are miles ahead when we compare you with other former SL presidents.One day SL people will understand how enormous a mistake they made in the recently concluded elections.We did not have a country in 2005 and you gave us our country back and this is the way you thanked for your service.I live in Australia and next time I visit SL I will try to meet you to say thank to you your eternal service.If I get the chance to meet you that will be the day I kneel down infront of a man other than my father.RegardsDallas
Cheers Tuesday, 27 January 2015 04:47 PM
We all know the false allegations against you your family and former ministers are a coup by the current govt and especially they are known for revenge not for development even the media is controlled by the current govt. they cannot fool the people and we will ensure the changes are done in April and then take the current culprits to task and the current goby does not have anything to prove what you have done to the country look at Maithree he is a sleeping president
sri Tuesday, 27 January 2015 04:52 PM
All the allegations need concrete proof and evidence. If they are not true nothing could stick on you .
lakshmanu Tuesday, 27 January 2015 04:53 PM
How conveniently he has forgotten the cynicism unleashed through the state media on opposition during his time!
patriot Tuesday, 27 January 2015 04:55 PM
UNP worrying about losing the election using 100 :Mada Gahana" days
podi malli Tuesday, 27 January 2015 04:55 PM
Halo owa kiyanna konde bandhapu cheenunta.. do u really think SL ppl are this stupid?. The point of this statement is to gain sympathy from public..SL people are too smart for this s
suranjith lal Tuesday, 27 January 2015 04:56 PM
Mr Ex President you may be right with certain things at the mean time you had done many wrong things that is why finally people voted to change you. if you are right now is the time prove your innocent, we as public do not like any one slinging mud at you or the present leader.
Bua Tuesday, 27 January 2015 04:57 PM
May the Noble Triple Gem Bless you Mr President
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