Take decisions after ascertaining the truth - President Rajapaksa | Sunday Observer

Take decisions after ascertaining the truth - President Rajapaksa

7 February, 2021

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said that he was the leader they searched for and he is a Sinhala Buddhist leader and he will never hesitate to state so.

He was addressing the nation at the 73rd Independence Day celebrations on Thursday, February 4.

He said, “I govern this country in accordance with Buddhist teachings. Within the Buddhist philosophic tradition of peaceful coexistence which gives due respect to all religions and ethnicities, every person in this country irrespective of his or her ethnic or religious identification has the right to enjoy the freedom as equals under the nation’s legal framework.”

President Rajapaksa said at a juncture when our nation’s heritage, its traditions, its national identity and patriotism were under serious threat, more than 6.9 million people elected him as President to provide the leadership needed to reestablish national security and overcome the many challenges facing our country.

He said traitorous elements always band together and seek to marshal domestic and foreign forces against the leadership that upholds the indigenous way of life and country’s sovereignty. Such elements mislead the public through false propaganda in a subtle way. “I request the people of our nation to always think critically before acting. If people make assessments based on facts and take decisions only after finding out the truth, no one will be able to mislead the public.”

The President said, “I have sworn, as the nation’s leader, to always protect our nation’s independence, unitary status, territorial integrity and sovereignty on behalf of our future generations. I will always uphold that pledge. The public has given the Government a mandate to execute the policies articulated in my vision statement “Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour”.” He said, “Various parties claim that they worked to ensure my election as President. That may be true. People from every section of society gathered around me to support my campaign. I believe that the vast majority of these people did so not in search of personal benefits but because they expected me to serve the nation diligently.

“I am always prepared to fulfil the genuine expectations of the public that supported me with honest intent. However, I will never take decisions that will damage the country and to please those who seek gains for themselves personally or for their businesses.”

UNHRC sessions

Co-Cabinet Spokesman, Mass Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that Sri Lanka has the capacity and ability to face allegations of human rights violations and will provide forthright answers at the upcoming UNHRC sessions.

Responding to a query at the weekly Cabinet press briefing regarding allegations levelled against the Government by certain foreign forces, NGOs and media outlets, Minister Rambukwella said the Government’s position was very clear on alleged war crimes against the Security Forces.

He said, “Unfortunately, we are still experiencing the results of the decision taken by the Foreign Affairs Minister of the then Yahapalana Government Mangala Samaraweera to co-sponsor the UNHRC Resolution 30/1 along with the US which called for addressing war crimes and reconciliation efforts with the minorities.”

The Minister said, however, Tilak Marapana, who succeeded Samaraweera as Foreign Affairs Minister of the Yahapalana Government had stated that this Resolution was against the country’s Constitution and other legal provisions. The present External Affairs Minister Dinesh Gunawardena has also officially stated that the country will withdraw from it.


SLFP Leader Maithripala Sirisena plans to fully restructure the party targeting the future elections. He has said that the people at the last General and Presidential elections turned the SLFP into the country’s decisive political factor. Therefore, party leader Sirisena has decided to build the SLFP at district and regional level. He said since its inception, the SLFP was committed to safeguard the country’s national resources and public properties and in the future too, he would lead the party based on that policy.


The UNP will allow the public to meet Party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and officials at the party headquarters at Sirikotha on two days of the week from this month. Steps will be taken to hold ‘Public Days’ on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

The UNP commenced its inaugural public day at Party headquarters, Sirikotha on February 2 under this new program. During the two days, Party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, Deputy Leader Ruwan Wijewardene, General Secretary Palitha Range Bandara, Chairman Vajira Abeywardena and all other officials will be present at the party headquarters. UNP General Secretary Palitha Range Bandara said that this decision was taken on the initiative of the Party Leader to forge a close relationship between the party members and the leaders to take the party to the people.

He said Wickemesinghe had instructed the office-bearers that they should ensure that the party will win future elections rather than trying to be leaders and to achieve this, the UNP should be made a party of the people and not a party of leaders.

Instant solutions

UNP Deputy Leader Wijewardene told the media that the sole purpose of conducting the public day is to meet party supporters weekly and provide instant solutions to their problems. A large number of countrywide party supporters and public representatives had attended the first public day held at Sirikotha on February 2.


Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has assured that the Eastern Container Terminal (ECT) of the Colombo Port will be operated 100 percent by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA). The Premier also said that the Cabinet Paper to transform the ECT to a fully functioning institution under the Ports Authority would be submitted to the Cabinet.

The Prime Minister was speaking at a discussion held at Temple Trees a few days ago with the Trade Unions for the Protection of the Eastern Terminal. “During the meeting, the Prime Minister had said that the present Government’s main policy is not to sell local resources and that under this the ECT will not be sold to any country and will not be handed over to any country for administration.” The Premier said, “I will make sure that the decisions taken during the discussion will not be confined to words but carried out accordingly.”

Indian HC calls on President

High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka, Gopal Baglay had called on President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and Foreign Affairs Minister Dinesh Gunawardena on February 2.

The focus of the discussions had fallen on the recent developments pertaining to the ECT of the Colombo Port. The high-level meeting took place after the Government’s decision to call off the deal with India and Japan regarding the Eastern Container Terminal. Issuing a statement, the Spokesperson of the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka had reiterated the expectation of Government of India for expeditious implementation of the trilateral Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) signed in May 2019 among the Governments of India, Japan and Sri Lanka for the development of ECT with participation from these three countries.

The final report of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry appointed to probe the Easter Sunday attacks was handed over to the President on February 1. The Presidential Commission of Inquiry concluded the recording of evidence in late January 2021. The Commission submitted its first interim report on December 20, 2019 and the second interim report on March 2, 2020.The five-member Presidential Commission of Inquiry was appointed via an Extraordinary Gazette by the then President Maithripala Sirisena on September 22, 2019.


The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) has expressed the party’s “disappointment” in the actions of Minister Wimal Weerawansa for working against unity within the governing party with regard to the East Container Terminal (ECT) issue.

Addressing a recent press conference, SLPP General Secretary and MP Sagara Kariyawasam said, “Minister Wimal Weerawansa is also a member of the Cabinet and the governing party.

“We have governing party meetings, Cabinet meetings that function with a certain unity. He should have acted in accordance. So, we are disappointed.” Kariyawasam said that the President nor the Government let any individual influence the Government’s decisions, and claimed that it is the Government alone that loves the country and does what’s best for the country.

It was also reported by the media on February 1 that Weerawansa received criticism from members of the Cabinet for publicly expressing his stance objecting to the Government’s supposed earlier plan to grant a 49 percent share of the ECT to an Indian company. Minister Weerawansa was reported to have expressed this stance alongside Ministers Vasudeva Nanayakkara and Udaya Gammanpila, State Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara and SLPP Parliamentarian Gevindu Kumaratunga.

Co-Cabinet Spokesman Minister Udaya Gammanpila said the Government has decided to reject the Report by the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet on alleged human rights violations in Sri Lanka, as it has acted in violation of the mandates and non-submission of reliable evidence.

Minister Gammanpila told the media that the Government’s response to the report has already been submitted in writing to the UNHRC. He also said that it will be made public when Foreign Affairs Minister Dinesh Gunawardena addresses the UN Human Rights Council, which begins its sessions on February 22. The Minister said the Government decided to reject the report as it has been prepared in violation of the mandates given through resolutions 30/1 and 40/1 of the UNHRC to the Human Rights Commissioner.

Members of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) held an Independence Day rally in Jaffna on February 04 under the slogan ‘One Country, One Race’.

SLFP General Secretary State Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara and Deputy Chairman of Committees of Parliament MP Angajan Ramanathan participated in the rally and lit the lamp at the Jaffna Public Library premises. The rally started at the Jaffna roundabout and proceeded past the A-9 road.

Ranjan Ramanayake

Chief Opposition Whip Lakshman Kiriella told the media that SJB Parliamentarian Ranjan Ramanayake must be allowed to be present during Parliament sittings as he has presented two appeals for the Supreme Court against the recent Court ruling that convicted him for Contempt of Court.

He said that Ramanayake’s issue is similar to that of MP Premalal Jayasekara, whose appeal is pending and who is allowed to come to Parliament. Addressing a media briefing at the Opposition Leader’s office, Kiriella said a request in this regard would be presented to Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, adding that the Speaker has powers to decide on this matter.

He said that the Speaker’s decision on MP Ramanayake is expected next Tuesday, February 9, adding that the Speaker has a duty to make impartial and balanced decisions. He said the SJB is contemplating presenting legislation for Contempt of Court as a Private Member’s Bill in Parliament.

Political wilderness

Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said the Opposition is now in the political wilderness after the Government decided to operate the ECT as a fully-owned container terminal of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA).

“It was the former Maithri-Ranil Government which attempted to sell the ECT by signing an agreement. Minister Ranatunga said the Government’s people-oriented policies was once again proved with the withdrawal from the ECT agreement signed by the previous “Yahapalana” regime.

He said, “It is a joke that the Yahapalana leaders are now accusing the present Government of selling national assets having sold the Hambantota Port during their regime.”

The Minister said the Government is gradually withdrawing from the deals and agreements that were entered into by the previous “Yahapalana” Government which would have a negative impact on the country and the people.

JVP General Secretary Tilvyn Silva told the media that the Government will not be able to intimidate the JVP by leveling allegations of political revenge against its leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake.

“Hunting opponents”

At a recent press briefing at the party headquarters, Silva alleged that the Government is using the report submitted by the Commission of Inquiry Investigating Incidents of Political Revenge to hunt down its opponents.

He also said that JVP has survived more brutal attempts made by capitalists to wipe out the party from the political arena.

Silva said, “Comrade Anura Dissanayake, the leader of our party is also on the list of culprits named by this Commission. Our protest against this report is not because his name is there.

“We are not afraid of it at all. Whether any of our names are there or not, this is an anti-democratic, anti-moral, arbitrary act contrary to the basic tenets of the law.”

He said that any party which has faith in justice should oppose it. Anura Dissanayake has not violated the Constitution or misused State property.