Sri Lanka’s prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa expressed confidence in his government’s ability to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, reiterating the 2009 military defeat of the LTTE in which the Sri Lankan military massacred tens of thousands of Tamils, in a public address earlier this week.
“We have faced bigger challenges in our history,” said Rajapaksa in a televised address. “During the period of terrorism, people lived for twenty or thirty years in camps for the displaced. They slept through the night with their small children in the brush jungle. Having made such sacrifices, I believe it is not impossible for you to spend a little time at home for the country”. I call on my beloved people to make that sacrifice.
“I am confident that we can rise up without facing the disaster that other countries have faced,” he added.
Rajapaksa, who was president during the 2009 massacres, went on to state that “at no time did we take decisions based on political, racial or religious lines”. “We will not do so in the future either,” he claimed.
The current government strategy has been led by Shavendra Silva, a senior commander during the 2009 massacres and current head of the Sri Lankan army.