Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has rallied against an international investigation this week, slamming “foreign saboteurs” and “insidious elements” in a series of adamant speeches across the Sinhalese South of the island.
Speaking in Batahena, Rajapaksa said a “smear campaign” has been started against him, stating,
“Those who cannot tolerate the country's growth after the eradication of terrorism are trying to take me to the electric chair."
Whilst the International Criminal Court cannot impose the death penalty, it can pass down sentences of up to 30 years of life imprisonment.
In Udugama, according to the Official Government News Portal of Sri Lanka, Rajapaksa went on to launch an attack against the “sinister objectives” of “certain embassies with the help of Non Governmental Organizations”, who were attempting to destabilise the south of the country and launch a conspiracy against the security forces.
He labelled a recent protest at a factory, possibly referring to the loss making state-owned Milco Company, as “part of this plan”.
Rajapaksa went on to defiantly rally the South together in his speeches, adding,
"Civilians should not be misled by the ongoing international conspiracy against Sri Lanka."
In yet another event at the Sugathadasa Stadium in Colombo, Rajapaksa lashed out at “foreign saboteurs” as he launched a “Responsible Citizenship, Unity, and National Pride” program for school children.
He stated that “a morally upright and disciplined society” needed to be created and that “children should be guided on the correct path” so that they could “love the country”, adding,
“Therefore, it is a national need for programs of this nature (Mother Sri Lanka project), which paves the way for a well-disciplined society to be given all the support in its endeavours."
The Official Government News Portal of Sri Lanka went on to add, “students expressed their loyalty to President with a Kurahan Satakaya”.
His comments come as ahead of the United Nations Human Rights Council Session in March, where a resolution on Sri Lanka is to be submitted, amid increasing calls for an international investigation into human rights violations on the island.