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I am not a Sinhalese-only president: Rajapaksa

Seeking to quell the impression that his government was pro-Sinhalese, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa today told an election rally in the Tamil and Muslim dominated eastern province that he was the president for all races.”I am not the president for Sinhalese, not the president for Muslims, not the president for Tamils but the president for all Sri Lankans,” Rajapaksa told a rally in the Muslim- dominated town of Kalmunai in the east today.Rajapaksa’s comments came as his ruling UPFA accused the main Muslim party and ally, Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), of raising Muslim passions for electoral gain in the eastern provincial council to be held on September 8. SLMC, a government ally, has gone independent in the eastern province.The UPFA charges that SLMC is running a campaign based on communalism.”They come here and spread false stories that mosques are being destroyed in the south. But in the Cabinet they raise no such issues,” Rajapaksa said in an obvious reference to SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem who is the minister of justice.The election in the multi-ethnic province has thrown a challenge to the ruling coalition with the SLMC decision to contest independent of the ruling coalition.Rajapaksa, under whose presidency, the Sri Lankan Army routed the LTTE, is often accused of acting in the interest of the majority Sinhala community.

Author: TELO Admin