President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Friday urged northern Tamils to vote for him, the “known devil”, as he was better than the “unknown angel”, as he referred his principal challenger Maithripala Sirisena.
Addressing a public rally in Jaffna, a week ahead of Sri Lanka’s presidential polls, Mr. Rajapaksa said he had invested “billions of rupees” in the North, and not as much in the South, or his own village.
Tamil National Alliance (TNA), the main Tamil party has pledged support to common candidate Maithripala Sirisena in the January 8 election.
The government, the President said, had given a special thrust to education in the North, and that reflected in the very good scores obtained by the students there. Highlighting his government’s development efforts, including re-launching the Yal Devi train to Jaffna, he said: “If you all support me, I will fulfil all my promises to you.”
Last leg of railway line
The last leg of the railway line — which was damaged during the country’s war and restored by Indian Railway’s construction company IRCON — was inaugurated from Jaffna to Kankesanthurai on Friday.
India is helping rebuild the 252 km railway track from Colombo to the harbour town of Kankesanthurai with a $800 million line of credit. The line up to Jaffna was made operational in October.