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Rajapaksa slams ‘foreign and local conspiracies’ in speech to parliament

Sri Lanka’s prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa launched an attack on the previous government, accusing them of being involved in “foreign and local conspiracies”, as he called on the public to “chose proven ability over yahapalana lies and deception”.

“The formation of the 2015 yahapalana government was a result of foreign and local conspiracies,” claimed Rajapaksa last week. “Their defeat in November 2019 however, did not put an end to such conspiracies.”

In his address Rajapaksa accused opponents of trying to “paint a picture of authoritarian rule”, stating that there were “false reports” including that of the reported abduction of a Swiss embassy employee in Colombo last year. The reported abduction occurred weeks after Nishantha Silva, a police official who was investigating alleged torture and kidnappings of journalists fled for for Switzerland. Just this week, an employee for the New York Times has had her laptop seized, reportedly in connection with the case.

Rajapaksa though said that Sri Lanka president, and his brother, Gotabaya Rajapaksa “adroitly defeated all these conspiracies”.

He went on to claim that protests in Sri Lanka are respected, even pointing to an incident where some protestors were offered refreshments, “thus giving the lie to the propaganda that a rigid, authoritarian rule had commenced under a former military officer”. His speech comes just days after a protest in support of the Black Lives Matter movement was broken up by the security forces in Colombo. A Tamil man was then shot dead on Sunday night by the Sri Lankan military, with the army claiming he was engaged in illegal sand mining.

“The forthcoming parliamentary election will give the voting public an opportunity to chose proven ability over yahapalana lies and deception,” concluded Rajapaksa.

See the full text of his speech here.