Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, yesterday, issued a statement urging people to join the planned Joint Opposition protest in Colombo on Sept 5.
Alleging that there are also dangerous and concerted efforts to compromise peace and reconciliation in the pursuit of personal political interests, the war veteran said that it was evident in the ongoing constitutional reform initiatives as well as the witch-hunts launched against military personnel who had made untold sacrifices to rid the country of terrorism. The former Defence Secretary asserted that all true Sri Lankans would observe those developments with great dismay.
The following is the text of the statement issued by Gotabhaya Rajapaksa;
“Sri Lanka has never, in its long history, fallen to the political, social and economic depths that the nation has witnessed in recent times. Having recognised the dangerous trends across all sectors, we have engaged in various processes and readied ourselves to take up the challenge of rectifying the status quo in a systematic manner. A large number of professionals and intellectuals from all walks of life, irrespective of their religious and ethnic identities, have rallied around us for this purpose.
It is no secret that I have so far desisted from participating in activities of the mainstream political forces. I am aware that you, as professionals and intellectuals who consider it imprudent to dabble with largely discredited political entities, have silently endorsed my position.
The scale of the serious calamities unfolding before us at this very moment however, necessitates an impactful response. Therefore I now believe we are at a juncture where everyone must set aside such concerns to step up and be counted in the larger struggle to save our nation as we know it.
It is abundantly clear that the state apparatus is being abused to unjustly and arbitrarily violate the fundamental democratic right of espousing dissenting political views. The government is engaged in the rampant violation of fundamental democratic norms in ways that threaten the very foundations of a functioning republic. Even the basic right of expressing political preference has been flagrantly violated through the arbitrary and illegal postponement of elections.
The government has pursued a policy of ceding control over key sectors of the economy to foreign interests despite strong opposition from stakeholders, professionals and the general public. It has entered into agreements in the most unprofessional and unethical manner, with scant regard for technical concerns. Most alarmingly, many of these agreements do not include clauses for renegotiation or annulment. Moreover, these have been drafted and signed without ever being subjected to the review or consideration of Parliament.
The economic doldrums we find ourselves in today are evidenced by the gloomy numbers pertaining to inflation, debt ratio, balance of payments, the value of the rupee against the dollar and foreign investment.
There are also dangerous, and concerted, efforts to compromise peace and reconciliation in the pursuit of personal political interests; this is evident in the ongoing constitutional reform initiatives as well as the witch-hunts on military personnel who have made untold sacrifices to rid the country of terrorism. All true Sri Lankans will observe these developments with great dismay.
The political situation borders on anarchy and our nation hurtles towards disaster; at this moment, professionals and intellectuals can no longer look away. It is often said that evil will triumph easily where the good remains silent. We must choose not to stay silent.”
In this context, I urge all professionals and intellectuals to support the patriotic forces who have organized the rally ‘Janabalaya Kolambata’ on the 5th of September.