Gotabaya Rajapaksa, speaking at the “Discussions with the Village” programme in Galle has vowed to reopen 50 military and STF camps within the Eastern Province, laying the responsibility of the easter Sunday attacks at the previous ‘good governance' regime.
The accused war criminal stated that the previous ‘good governance’ regime led by one-time acting defence minister Mathripala Sirisena had “neglected national security” as a government and were thus responsible for the Easter Sunday attacks. Rajapaksa went on to add that the opening of the camps was because “separatist terrorism or Islamic extremism will not be allowed under our government”.
Commenting on recent comments made by Cardinal Ranjith who called the recent PCol report into the Easter Sunday attacks as “incomplete” as the “authors of these attacks or those who funded them have not been identified”, Rajapaksa claimed that “those politicians are not with us” and that “they are the opposition”.
Cardinal Ranjith added
“I say this because I love my people. Therefore, we cannot allow anyone to make profits or gain any advantage by having so brutally killed these innocent people in this manner. That is against our religious conscience. I know that the majority of our people will not support the perpetrators of such a crime. Therefore, if justice is to be meted out for those innocent people who were killed, we need to get out of this undermining, ruthless politics. Our country has been under such politicians who would do anything for their gain for far too long, but we cannot allow this to continue. What we want is leaders with a back-bone who would stand up for the people and fight for justice, not those who will succumb for political or other gains,”
Following the Easter Sunday attack, Gotabaya Rajapaksa swept to power in Presidential elections in 2019 and accused war criminal Mahinda Rajapaksa was elected as Prime minister with a 2/3 majority in 2020. Gotabaya Rajapaksa has been widely accused of being the real “master” behind the Easter Sunday attacks, amid widespread reports of a close association between him and the now-banned Islamist extremist organisation, National Thawheed Jammath (NTJ), which was one of the groups responsible for the attacks. A Sri Lankan MP has claimed that Gotabaya Rajapaksa gave the NTJ land for an office in Colombo and further claims state that the organisation was on the Sri Lankan intelligence payroll.
The announcement of the reopening of military camps in the Eastern province where significant Tamil and Muslim populations are found, follows the closing of 1,000 Islamic schools and the banning of the Burka on the grounds of “national security” as Islamophobia becomes entrenched on the Island. The North of the Tamil homeland remains one of the most militarised regions on the planet in which 14 out of 21 Army division are deployed and subjugate the Tamil population to constant surveillance and harassment, despite this Tamil and Muslims have been leading protests against state oppression. Last month upwards of 50,000 people participated in the Polikandy to Pottuvil march which made several demands highlighting the injustice faced by both communities and “the right to self-determination for a Tamil Nation”, recent protests led by Tamil civil society members have called for Sri Lanka to be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) over charges of genocide.
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