• Hard-hitting statement alleges Rajapaksa ruled for years with lies and after being overthrown he is still spreading hatred and mistrust for cheap political gains
• UNP denies closure of 59 Army camps but points finger at former President
• Warns people will teach Rajapaksa his final lesson at the next election; hints additional bribery and corruption by former regime will be exposed
The UNP yesterday launched a scathing attack on former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, warning him not to create hatred and suspicion among ethnic groups and mislead masses with his wild and baseless allegations for cheap political gains.
The UNP said Rajapaksa, despite being voted out of office by the people at the 8 January presidential election, was still spreading rumors to create hatred and suspicion among ethnic groups in the country.
In a statement issued by General Secretary and Minister Kabir Hashim, the UNP said that Rajapaksa, who was yet to respond to a range of bribery and corruption charges, was making false allegations against the Government of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe which had introduced good governance to the country.
“He is trying to gain temporary favour and build up his aspirations of becoming Premier by making false allegations against the Government. He is seeking cheap popularity by misleading the people. He has used the LTTE’s terrorism as a ruse to cover up his involvement in bribery, corruption and fraud,” Hashim said.
Minister Hashim refuted Rajapaksa’s statement at a public rally held in Matara that the Government had allowed the LTTE to rise again by shutting down 59 army camps in the North.
“Neither President Maithripala Sirisena nor Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has ordered the shutdown of a single army camp but all 59 camps were shut down by the Rajapaksa administration. From 11,000 acres of land which were acquired by the Army, over 5,000 acres were also released during the rule of the Rajapaksa regime. In addition, the Sampur Army camp was also released by his administration,” Minister Hashim stated in his statement.
He requested Rajapaksa to avoid making such false statements and misleading people.
Hashim challenged the former President to give the list of 59 army camps that were shut down by the present Government.
“ We know that he can’t face this challenge like the allegations which we exposed earlier,” Hashim said adding that former President Rajapaksa had still failed to refute allegations that he built presidential palaces around the country, spending massive sums of the public’s money.
He claimed that Rajapaksa had also failed to answer how his Government utilised Rs. 28 billion from the Rs. 55 billion loan obtained from National Savings Bank for development of highways.
“The number of Government vehicles which were used by his family members and the value of those vehicles are still unknown. Dogs belonging to Rajapaksa at Temple Trees were fed with public money and additionally they were given imported dog food,” Hashim claimed in his statement.
According to Minister Hashim, the Government would soon expose more fraud committed by the Rajapaksa family.
“We are going to expose his family businesses, tax exemptions given to family businesses and goods worth millions brought from China through SriLankan Airlines for the election campaign,” the UNP stated.
They added that Rajapaksa had remained in politics for years by misleading the people and even after his defeat he was still misleading the people to remain in politics. However, the party asserted that the people would teach him his final lesson at the next election. (SS)