Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Presidential candidate, Gotabaya Rajapaksa said that it is his primary responsibility to build a secure nation while ensuring communal harmony.
He claimed that the only concern of all citizens is national security even though the country is amidst an economic crisis and that this is because the present Government had not prioritised national security, while adding that as an individual who has experienced the impact of terrorism and having dealt with it, he would ensure that no such extremist activities take place in the future.
He further claimed that democracy had been upheld prior to the present Government taking over and assured that he would take control of the situation after he becomes the President. ”We brought the war to an end and achieved much during the period of peace that followed, while this Government only initiated a new war and built fear within all communities,” he alleged.
He expressed these views while attending a convention under the theme ‘the turning point’ organised by National Muslims Collective on 31 October.
He added that strategic plans had already been formulated in this regard and he was looking forward to implementing them in order to completely eradicate terrorism while gaining the confidence of all communities and ensuring that the rights and freedoms of the Muslim community are upheld, along with the rights other minorities. ”The Tamil community’s issues were heard and addressed while rehabilitation programmes were carried out for LTTE cadres who surrendered following the war. This is the way a caring Government should ensure the prosperity of all its citizens,” he said.
President’s Counsel M.U.M. Ali Sabry claimed that over 35 per cent of people from the Muslim community had extended their support to Rajapaksa and that this is expected to increase to at least 50%, adding that the Muslim community is would not place their trust in any of the promises made by other candidates who have continuously lied to the Muslims.
”This Government has failed the entire community and we are now being looked down upon. We need a leader who would ensure that our rights and security is protected and this is definitely not a part of the agenda of the UNP candidate,” he added.
Parliamentarian Faiszer Musthapha further added that over 95% of the Muslim community voted for a regime change in 2015 and instead had to face incidents such as those that took place in Digana, Gintota and the Easter Sunday attacks in which there was a total breakdown of the national security apparatus, adding that Gotabaya is the only candidate who can bring about a change that is required by the Muslim community.