Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa today claimed that foreign powers interfered in the 2015 Presidential election, which he lost.
In a speech delivered today titled “Defeating domestic and foreign conspiracies against Sri Lanka” the Prime Minister said that when a socialist Government assumed power in Sri Lanka in 1970 nobody said that it had been brought into power through Russian or Chinese intervention. Likewise, a capitalist Government assumed power in 1977, but no one said that it had been brought into power through American or British intervention.
However, he said there was foreign interference to an extent never before experienced in Sri Lanka at the 2015 Presidential election.
“Certain foreign parties began to intervene in the politics of this country in a major way after we won the war in 2009. They never thought we would be able to win that war. This intervention actually began at the 2010 presidential election but the people of this country conclusively defeated that early attempt. However the conspiracy continued till 2015. Everyone knows who prevailed on the leader of the UNP to stand aside in favour of a common candidate,” he said.
Rajapaksa said that the situation that prevailed in this country following the assumption of power by the Government in 2015 was akin to having been taken over by a hostile foreign invading force.
“They systematically persecuted the nationalist political camp in this country. They jailed leading Buddhist monks on trumped up charges in order to intimidate the Maha Sangha which has always been at the forefront in protecting the sovereignty of this country. They went after the elephants and tuskers belonging to the temples in a major way, in order to put an end to the perahera traditions of the Buddhists,” he said.
The Prime Minister said that the invading force also moved to demoralize and render ineffective the armed forces which defeated terrorism and ensured the territorial integrity of the country.
“Selected members of the armed forces ranging from the lowest ranks right up to the Chief of Defence Staff were arrested, kept in jail for weeks, months or years and cases were filed against them on trumped up charges. The intention behind all this was to create the impression in the minds of the local population and also to convey to the world the idea that these were not war heroes but thieves and murderers,” he said.
Rajapaksa said that Nationalist politicians were also systematically persecuted and various Commissions of Inquiry were instituted against them.
“They were hauled before the Police, remanded for months and cases were filed against them on false charges. All this was done with the intention of completely destroying the nationalist camp in this country and thus facilitating the division of Sri Lanka by introducing a new constitution. What they could not achieve through war, they tried to achieve through political manoeuvres,” he said.
Rajapaksa said that these plans could not be implemented in their entirety because the current administration won the 2019 November presidential elections.
“However domestic and foreign conspirators have not yet given up. Everyone saw the drama that was orchestrated within days of the new President assuming office alleging that a local employee of a Western embassy had been abducted and questioned. That showed that these conspirators were not willing to give the new dispensation any breathing space,” he said.
The Prime Minister added that the biggest problem that Sri Lanka had to face after President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa came into power was the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said that Sri Lanka is right on top in the world in controlling COVID-19 and even New Zealand is behind Sri Lanka.