Rajapaksa eyeing political comeback

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has used the renaming of 'Victory Day' to score political point over the government.  

Keen on staging a political comeback, former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa is, of late, seeking to corner the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government by raising the issues of national security and revival of militancy.

Ever since the government decided to rechristen May 19 [the day on which the Eelam War-IV came to an end formally] as ‘Day of Remembrance’ instead of ‘Victory Day,’ Mr. Rajapaksa has taken up these issues to score a point over the government.

Revival of militancy?

A month ago, he alleged that the flag of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was hoisted in the Northern Province. Immediately, State Minister for Defence Ruwan Wijewardene dismissed his allegation as “false.”

When violence broke out in Jaffna in the third week of May, he said the incident had symptoms of revival in militancy. This time, Justice Minister Wijedasa Rajapaksa had termed the former President’s statement “malicious.” Now, the focus is on the closure of Army camps.

Asked whether the campaign is being run keeping electoral gains in mind, G.L. Peiris, a prominent face of the former President’s camp and former Foreign Affairs Minister, denied it saying this is not part of any “election propaganda but we are concerned with developments in the North”. However, Jayadeva Uyangoda, Professor of Political Science in the University of Colombo, says the former President thinks that it is beneficial for him to re-emerge as the only strong leader of the Sinhalese.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2021 4:36:00 PM |

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