Gota says he will join JO protest

Former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who kept away from mainstream politics so far, said today that would not remain silent when the country was heading towards disaster and would join Wednesday's ‘Jana Balaya’ protest organised by the joint opposition (JO).

He said Sri Lanka has never before fallen into the political, social
and economic depths such as that seen in recent times and added that the unfolding calamity calls for a meaningful response.

“The political environment borders on anarchy with our nation hurtling towards disaster. Professionals and intellectuals can no longer look away. We have heard it said that evil will triumph when the good remain silent. We must no longer remain silent and I urge all professionals and intellectuals to support the patriotic forces who have organised the rally ‘Janabalaya Kolambata’ on September 5,” Mr. Rajapaksa said.

He said the government was engaged in violating the fundamental democratic rights in ways that threaten the very foundations of a functioning republic.

“Even the basic right of expressing a political preference has been flagrantly violated through the arbitrary and illegal postponement of elections,” Mr. Rajapaksa said.

He said that the government has pursuing a policy of ceding control over key economic sectors to foreign interests despite strong opposition from stakeholders, professionals and the people.

“It signed agreements in the most unprofessional and unethical manner. Many of these agreements do not include clauses for re-negotiation or annulment. Moreover, these have been drafted and signed without ever being subjected to the review or consideration of Parliament,” he said.

Mr. Rajapaksa said there were 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,” he said. (Lahiru Pothmulla)