(English Translation of Keynote Speech made by former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa at the launch of “Eliya”(Light) at the “Golden Rose” in Boralesgamuwa on September 6th 2017)
After defeating 30 years of terrorism that was in this country, after we united this country as one, we cannot allow that victory to be betrayed through the constitution or through the parliament. Today, we have a great fear that through a new constitution our great victory would be nullified.
For that reason, academics and professionals representing various fields proposed that the need to oppose a new constitution in what ever form must be taken to the people. It is the mission of Eliya to do everything necessary to create that awareness and opposition among the people for a new constitution.
It is not that the current constitution is without fault. Yet, we oppose a new constitution because we feel a deep insecurity when we see who is drafting the new constitution, for whom and for what reason. We know where this is heading.
It is the same groups who strategized for the LTTE, who collected funds, who through those funds supplied weaponry who are trying to achieve through another means what they couldn’t through war and terrorism.
It is the same pressure groups from various organizations, international organizations, foreign countries that opposed military efforts to eradicate terrorism who are trying to bring a new constitution to meet their needs.
Likewise, it is for the needs of the Tamil political separatists in this country, this new constitution is to be brought.
It is the barbarous LTTE organization who for years killed innocent civilians, that destroyed this whole country who have become human rights champions now. It is they who are trying to take the war heroes and their leadership who dawned peace to this country, united this country to war crime tribunals. It is they who have come forward to create a new constitution.
It is because of this reason we oppose, it is because of this reason we decided to form a new organization to mobilize people against a new constitution.
We know a number of national organizations have been committed to this task since one and a half years ago. We have discussed with them to give leadership to join efforts and take this as a very broad project to the people.
Another reason why we oppose a new constitution is because we have no faith in this government. We saw how they pledged for the past couple of years that the Office for Missing Persons will not be established, but finally it did.
In the same manner we saw the manner the amendments to the local government electoral system were introduced. It was maintained that the war heroes will not be harmed, but today a large number, especially from the military intelligence units are being condemned.
Then, how can we trust such an administration? If this is how they conduct, if the new constitution is brought by such a team, then it is very clear to us that it will be a very dangerous constitution.
It is for these reasons we founded this new organization. Our mission is to reach the public through this organization. For this, I beseech your support as I conclude my speech.