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‘I can do that if I want to’ - Rajapaksa warns of military rule

Sri Lanka’s war crimes accused president Gotabaya Rajapaksa, nicknamed ‘The Terminator’, warned that he had the ability to enforce “a military system” on the island if he wanted to.

Speaking to an audience at Mandaduwa Stadium last week, Rajapaksa hit back at the supposed two groups that have criticised him.

“One group is the ones who have no idea about the last two years,” he said “They think that these last two years are ordinary years.”

“The other group is the crowd that requested me to make a revolutionary change. When I tried to make this change, many were upset and those in that offended group also criticized me.”

Rajapaksa went on to slam what he termed “a group called ‘Farmers’” - agricultural workers have staged protests across the island in the wake of the government’s sudden ban on chemical fertilisers. “They need to understand which government took care of the farmer,” he continued.

“Some say that they expected a Gotabaya who will go ahead with a military system,” the Sri Lankan president continued. “I can.”

“To tell the farmers to use organic manure by resorting to physical force similar to how they do it in the army. But I have no need to do that. Is that what was expected? No. Some people said that if I came to power, democracy would be threatened. The very same people say, ‘Oh, we did not expect such a person, but someone with military features’.”

“I can do that if I want to.”

Rajapaksa went on to say that he had not yet because Sri Lanka “is a democratic country”.

“Even today, as a country, we go to Geneva because of false allegations that human rights have been violated,” he added. “We do not need to do that, to our country. However, I will make the revolutionary change that I promised.”

See the full text of his speech here.

Earlier this year the former US Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Stephen Rapp revealed that Rajapaksa admitted to killing LTTE leaders instead of arresting or putting them on trial after surrender in 2009, during an offensive that saw tens of thousands of Tamils massacred.

“I killed them, I killed them, I killed them,” Rajapaksa was alleged to have said.

See more of Rajapaksa’s controversial, and sometimes frightening, comments made to international media in our article: 

'We will hang him!’ - A glimpse of Gotabaya

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